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LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, 

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Shelf ...Q:.. 

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 



THE 



WITNESSING CHURCH 



IN ITS RELATION TO 



Church Union, Civil Government, and 
Temperance Reform in its 
Political aspects, 



BY 



Rev. F^sM. FOSTER, 



Pastor of the Third Reformed Presbyterian Church, 
23d Street, New York City, 




Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1890, 
By F. M. Foster, 
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 



Press of J. W. Pratt & Son, 73-79 Fulton Street, New York. 



To My 

SESSION AND CONGREGATION, 
$eloveD in tbe Xorfc, 

SO PATIENT WITH MY IMPERFECTIONS, SO WILLING 
TO ENTER ON EVERY GOOD WORK, 

THIS VOLUME 

IS 



Kindly Inscribed. 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE. 



I. Church Drift 7 

II. The Witnessing Church 23 

III. Church Union — The State of the Question, 29 

IV. Church Union — Theories Proposed 37 

V. Church Union — The True Basis 56 

VI. The Witnessing Church and Open Pulpits, 63 
VII. Is the Reformed Presbyterian Church an 

Evangelistic Church ? 74 

VIII. Growth of the Denomination — Hindrances, 88 
IX. The Witnessing Church and Civil Govern- 
ment — General Principles 100 

X. Application of Principles to Constitution, 113 

XI. Dissent 125 

XII. Objections to Dissent 137 

XIII. Should the Witnessing Church Give Up 

Dissent? 142 

XIV. Oath of Allegiance and Civil Office 162 

XV. The Witnessing Church and Temperance — 

General Principles 172 

XVI. Constitutional Prohibition and a Godless 

Government 189 

XVII. Covenanters and Voting for Amendments, 207 

XVIII. Voting and Orthodoxy 219 

XIX. The Outlook 225 



PREFACE, 



This book is practically a series of sermons de- 
livered in the pulpit of the Third Church by the 
author. The subjects are deeply interesting, as they 
are of great importance just now. The question of 
church union is attracting wide attention and promises 
to be of special public interest for years to come. 
The question of "dissent and protest " demands just 
now special attention within the denomination. The 
undermining forces are active and persistent. They 
wish to surrender up the denomination. The question 
of " voting for amendments " has, it is true, been de- 
termined by Synod in the affirmative. But to " vote " 
is believed by many in the denomination to be a 
giving up of dissent and protest. It appears that 
some voted for such decision in the interests of liber- 
alism, and now demand that the "church take a fur- 
ther step. Moreover, the decision puts the denomi- 
nation in a position so metaphysical that devout 
Christians in sister churches, who are able to see a 
point if there is any, declare their inability to under- 
stand the hair-splitting distinctions upon which the de- 
nomination founds its right to separate denominational 
existence. This differs widely from the former position 
occupied by the church ; it was clearly seen, but not 
believed. The resolution passed by Synod is believed 



to put the church in a wrong light before the world ; 
subjects it to some ridicule; is made the stepping- 
stone to greater wrongs ; and should be recalled. To 
say to candidate for membership that there are some 
votes you can cast and other votes you cannot cast ; 
that the one is a recognition of the government while 
the other is not ; that he should go and cast the one 
and hold up his hands and swear before God that 
he who casts the other is sinning against heaven 
and against the light, would appear to be an invita- 
tion to sensible candidates to escape away from such 
Court of God's House as soon as possible. 

Furthermore, liberalism seems to be " in the air." 
Old landmarks are being forsaken. Old doctrines 
are being repudiated. " What will please the world ?" 
seems to be asked everywhere. The trend of the 
Christian Church is not out into the light. The ten- 
dency is back toward Rome. These influences are 
insidious and treacherous. In the midst of all these 
evils, this breaking up, this breaking away, the voice 
of our beloved Lord should be the more earnestly 
heeded : " Stand in the way, and see, and ask for the 
old paths, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for 
your souls." 

If the following pages shall be of comfort and 
assistance to one humble servant of God, they shall 
not have been sent in vain. And all the glory be to 
the all-wise God, our Saviour. 

The Author. 



CHAPTER I. 



THE ATTAINMENTS OF THE REFORMA- 
TION ARE IN DANGER. 

SHALL THEY BE GIVEN UP? 

In no age and in no nation has the church had 
such advantages as in this age and in this land. 
Her privileges and opportunities are marvelous. 
The wealth, in learning and experience, reaching 
back through six thousand years, is laid at her 
feet. Nearly every foot of Bible lands has been 
overturned, and the hidden treasures revealed. 
The most exhaustive research, the keenest inves- 
tigation, have greatly multiplied the church's 
resources. It would be expected that the church 
would rise to clearer statement of doctrine and 
duty than ever before ; that she would hold the 
"truth as it is in Jesus " with more invincible 
determination, and with less " doubtful disputa- 
tion" than in any period of the past. Such being 
expected, the tendencies to greater liberality and 
latitudinarian views ; the willingness to surrender 
the " blood-bought" truths, and give up positions 



8 



CHURCH DRIFT. 



formerly held ; the jeopardy in which the attain- 
ments of the Reformation are now put, should 
produce more serious consideration and alarm. 
It is plain, even to the superficial observer, that 
there is " drift " in all the churches. Some move 
more rapidly, and plunge from heights to others 
beneath as they sweep down with the current. 
Others, more conservative, move more cautiously 
and plant themselves on the lower position, as 
they begin again to survey the one just beneath. 
Perhaps the Presbyterian family of churches is 
most marked, just now, in the liberality with 
which they construe doctrine, and in undisguised 
effort to be rid of honorable and venerable stand- 
ards. It is in place here to speak of the common 
possessions, the Confession of Faith, the Cate- 
chisms, Larger and Shorter, before there be par- 
ticular reference to new tendencies in our own 
beloved Zion. 

EFFORTS AT REVISION. 

The reader is well aware of the movement, 
popularly known as " Revision. " This was 
authoritatively set forth by the General Assem- 
bly of the Presbyterian Church, at the meeting 
in May, 1889. This Assembly represents a body 
of Christians seven hundred thousand strong. 
The questions which the Assembly submitted to 
their two hundred Presbyteries are these two: 
1st. "Do you desire a revision of the Confession 



CHURCH DRIFT. 



9 



of Faith ?" 2d. " If so, in what respects and to 
what extent ? " 

This transferred the battle-ground to the floor 
of Presbyteries. The second question puts the 
whole of the Confession into the crucible. The 
debates in the various Presbyteries are as sad as 
they are interesting. Some wish the Confession 
to be retired; that it be venerated as a relic of 
the past, but no longer of binding obligation. 
These would supply its place by a shorter State- 
ment as a "working creed. " Some of the most 
influential men, such as Drs. Hastings and Schaff, 
of Union Seminary, and others equally celebrat- 
ed, wish the Confession to be left as it is, and an 
abbreviated Confession, up with the times, put in 
its room. The old Confession is, by many, 
denounced in severe terms. We stand amazed at 
the language used. You would suppose that the 
Westminster Assembly, in setting forth certain 
Chapters, were the foes alike of God and man, 
utterly ignorant of Scripture and the laws of 
Interpretation. That the Presbytery of New 
York voted for revising the Confession by a 
majority of 67 to 15 is significant. It shows the 
force of opposition to the Standards. A high 
authority in the Presbyterian Church says of 
Revision: 

"Whether it carry at the next Assembly or not, 
the end is inevitable. Of this I myself have no 



IO 



CHURCH DRIFT. 



doubt. If it carry now, we shall have a conserv- 
ative revision. If not, we shall have later on a 
radical one." 

The Presbyterian Church of England has pre- 
ceded its American sister in the matter of Revis- 
ion. They have been working at it for six years. 
Final action has not yet been taken, but will 
probably be taken at their next Assembly. The 
matter stands thus: " The Committee, as the 
result of their labors, have submitted to the 
church: First, Modified formulas of adhesion to 
Confession: Next, a Declaratory Statement in 
explanation of it; and lastly, a compendium of 
doctrine, entitled, ' The Articles of the Faith/ 
These 6 Articles of the Faith ' are twenty-four in 
number." A critical examination of these Articles 
shows that they are seriously defective; that they 
cast doubts on Inspiration, and compromise many 
truths of the Word of God. 

The Free Church of Scotland is also keeping 
abreast with the latitudinarian views and tenden- 
cies of the times. Its first marked step was the 
election of Dr. Marcus Dods to the Chair of 
New Testament Exegesis in the New College, 
Edinburgh. He is a man of notoriously unsound 
views on inspiration. At the last General Pres- 
byterian Council, London, 1888, his paper was 
understood to deny the infallibility of the Bible, 
and was severely criticised by the sound men in 



CHURCH DRIFT. 



1 1 



the Council who had opportunity to speak. Dr. 
Dods has repeatedly proclaimed his belief that 
the Bible is not an infallible book; that there are 
"mistakes and immoralities " in the Old Testa- 
ment; that " there are inaccuracies in the Gospels 
and elsewhere — inaccuracies such as occur in 
ordinary writings through imperfect information 
or lapse of memory," and that "these are . . . . 
sufficient entirely to explode the averment of lit- 
eral infallibility. ,, Notwithstanding these views, 
Dr. Dods was elected to the Chair of New Testa- 
ment Exegesis, the last place where such unsound 
views should be found. 

But the Free Church took another step. 
No fewer than thirty overtures were sent up to 
their Assembly, looking to changes in the Con- 
fession of Faith, or the adoption of " a new work- 
ing Confession, a shorter Confession which would 
adequately meet the needs of the church/' Those 
on the ground, therefore in position to know, 
state without hesitation, that " the real thing 
that lies at the root of the agitation is hostility to 
the Calvinism of the Confession." It is not difficult 
to conjecture results in the Free Church of 
Scotland. 

The United Presbyterian Church of Scot- 
land has solved the problem of Revision, by 
"adopting a Declaratory Act, defining the sense 
in which the Standards are to be subscribed." Dr. 



12 



CHURCH DRIFT. 



William Taylor, in his Yale Lectures, says, "This 
is the earliest attempt on the part of any Presby- 
terian Church to define the sense in which the 
Westminster Standards are understood to be 
subscribed by its office bearers/' The Declara- 
tory Act contains seven specifications, more or 
less sweeping in their character, and commands 
that this formula be put to the office bearer: 
this acknowledgment (of the Confession) 
being made in view of the explanations contain- 
ed in the Declaratory Act of the Synod there- 
anent." 

The efforts at Revision in the various branches 
of the Presbyterian family show that the vener- 
able Standards are being dethroned. Just where 
will be the final resting place is not clear. Dr. 
John Hall uses these forceful words: "I have 
never known more decided and pronounced gyp- 
sies, in an ecclesiastical sense, than those have 
proved themselves to be who turned their backs 
on the Standards of our Presbyterian Church." 
{Reception to General Assembly, New York, i88p.) 

The United Presbyterian Church of United 
States has seriously corrupted its doctrine and 
worship by the introduction of instrumental 
music. This is especially remarkable because of 
the high position this denomination formerly 
held. This denomination of one hundred and ten 
thousand has thrown all its weight, and the far- 



CHURCH DRIFT. 



13 



reaching effect of its teaching and example, 
against God's voice in this matter, and against 
its own past glorious history. They have practi- 
cally revised the faith with which former United 
Presbyterians found no fault, and in which they 
denied that there is error, whenever the alle- 
gation was made by the enemies of the faith. 
The present position of that church is an 
impeachment of their intelligence and doctrinal 
soundness. But the character of the impeached, 
their holy life and saintly walk, their command- 
ing intellect, their understanding of the Scrip- 
tures, lose nothing by comparison with those 
who have pronounced the condemnation. But 
their testimony has been set aside, and the United 
Presbyterian Church becomes a witness before 
the world against its former self, against the 
churches which are yet pure in worship, and has 
openly avowed a most dangerous principle which 
is making the worship of God in fashionable 
churches a mockery, viz.: God may be worship- 
ed in other ways not commanded in His Word. 
This action on the part of the United Presbyte- 
rian denomination introduces another element of 
disharmony. That open communion is getting 
a strong hold, cannot be successfully contradict-, 
ed. And fears are entertained, by those in posi- 
tion to know, that hymn singing is looked upon 
with comparative indifference. Thus the tide 



14 



CHURCH DRIFT. 



rolls on, and gives unquestionable evidence of 
"drift.". 

LINES OF ASSAULT. 

The field in which Progressive Theology is 
now distinguishing itself, and where it is fortify- 
ing to the best of its ability, and against the 
attainments of the Reformation, is, ist : Its 
assaults on " verbal inspiration." It insists that 
" the holy men of God, who spake as they were 
moved by the Holy Ghost," used such words as 
they pleased, without direction of the Spirit. 

2d. It claims to have destroyed the authority 
of the old textus receptus of the New, and to have 
undermined the Masoretic text of the Old, Testa- 
ments These are the texts in Greek and Hebrew, 
whence come our present version of the Bible. 

3d. It disputes the authorship of certain books 
of the Bible, as Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Num- 
bers, Deuteronomy, part of the Psalms, parts of 
Isaiah, Matthew, Luke, John, Hebrews, etc. It 
takes stronger grounds on some of these than 
others. But after Progressive Theology has done 
what it could to destroy faith in the authorship, 
saying Moses did not write the first five books — 
the Pentateuch, it appropriates the doubt by 
questioning the inspiration of those books ; and 
suggests that parts of these have been compiled 
by ordinary men, guided by nothing but their 
ordinary intelligence. 



CHURCH DRIFT. 



15 



4th. Progressive Theology dethrones miracles 
as one of the infallible evidences. It says: "To 
many minds it would be easier to believe in the 
inspiration of the Scriptures and the divinity of 
Christ if there were no such things as miracles 
and predictions in the sacred Scriptures." "It has 
been easier to prove the divinity of Christ with- 
out miracles. " 

5th. It exalts contemporary history of the 
Bible as a fixed standard by which the records 
of the Bible are to be examined and tried, and to 
which it must in many respects yield. 

These liberal tendencies are led by men of 
advanced views on inspiration ; men accepting 
the teachings and investigations of higher criti- 
cism ; men who are tainted with the theories of 
second probation ; men befogged in their study 
of the attributes of God, and confuse justice and 
love. The high-water-mark of these advanced 
theories, and to which is the trend of the great 
Presbyterian Church, is set by Dr. Briggs, 
Professor in the Presbyterian Union Theological 
Seminary, New York, in his last work, entitled, 
" Whither." The reader will realize the start- 
ling character and the far-reaching possibilities 
of the theories advanced. That they should be 
held, allowed, and taught in the Presbyterian 
Seminary is one of the significant signs of the 
times. 



i6 



CHURCH DRIFT. 



" The study of the future state in recent times, " 
says Dr. Briggs, " has exposed the faults of the 
older dogmaticians. It has shown that the doc- 
trine of a private judgment at death has no sup- 
port in the Scriptures or the creeds, and that it 
obstructed and obscured the doctrines of the dies 
irae, the ultimate judgment of the world. 

" It has shown that the current theology con- 
fuses and confounds the hell and heaven of the 
middle state, and the hell and heaven of the 
ultimate state after the day of judgment, and it 
has accordingly made the middle state more of a 
reality to many minds. 

" It has held up the light of Christian ethics, 
and shown that the doctrine of immediate sancti- 
fication at death is contrary to the Scripture and 
the creeds, and has filled the middle state with 
ethical contents, as a place for Christian sanctifi- 
cation. 

" It has called attention to the fact that Jesus 
Christ knows of but one unpardonable sin, the 
sin against the Holy Spirit ; and asks what is its 
significance in view of the middle state ? 

" It has revived the doctrine of the Apostles' 
Creed, of the descent of Jesus into hades, His 
preaching to the imprisoned spirits and His 
redemption of souls from the ancient abode of 
the dead. 

" It has called attention to the inconsistency 



CHURCH DRIFT. 



17 



into which the church has drifted in the new- 
doctrine of the universal salvation of infants, and 
has demanded that this doctrine shall be con- 
sidered in some way, so as to correspond with 
the Protestant doctrine of the order of salvation- 

" It has so pressed the awfulness of the doc- 
trine of the eternal damnation of the heathen 
world, exceeding the Christian world by hun- 
dreds of millions, that the older doctrine of the 
damnation of all the heathen has been abandon- 
ed, and efforts have been made to find some mode 
of relief by which some or many of the heathen 
may be saved by the grace of God." 

Rev. Phillip Schaff, D. D., Professor in Union 
Seminary, says: 

" The Westminster Confession of Faith . . . . 
contains certain supralapsarian or hyper-Calvin- 
istic features. . . . These are the connected doc- 
trines of reprobation, pretention, limited atone- 
ment, and the damnation of the whole non- 
Christian world. . . . Foreordination of some 
men to everlasting life, and of others to everlast- 
ing death, and pretention of all the non-elect 
(including the whole heathen world) are 
equally inconsistent with a proper conception of 
Divine justice, pervert it into an arbitrary par- 
tiality for a small circle of the elect, and an arbi- 
trary neglect of the great mass of men." {Paper 
before Presbytery of New York, Nov., 1889?) 



CHURCH DRIFT. 



These are startling theories to receive shelter 
in the formerly orthodox Presbyterian Church. 
They suggest a deeply-seated malady, which will 
yield to nothing but heroic treatment. It is 
claimed that the demand for revision is because 
some few doctrines are stated too strongly, as 
election and predestination ; while other doc- 
trines are not sufficiently emphasized, as the love 
of God. But this is a superficial explanation, 
and overlooks the strong under-current setting 
in, in favor of the most advanced and heterodox 
theories. Revision is but the breaking out of a 
sore, indicating decline in spiritual health. These 
new theories are: (a) Always in the interests of 
liberal thinking; (b) They never encroach on loose 
morals ; (c) They trench on the jurisdiction of 
God. The Higher or Literary Criticism of the 
Scriptures ; the questioning of the testimony of 
miracles ; the rejection of verbal inspiration, etc., 
have introduced new elements of doubt, which 
have weakened the faith of many. 

CHURCH WORLDLINESS. 

A further evidence of decline in spirituality is 
set forth by the authority above quoted. " The 
people object," says Dr. Briggs, " to doctrinal 
preaching, and even expositions of the Scrip- 
tures. The teacher retires into the background, 
and the preacher who exhorts and applies the 
Word is in demand and is popular. Rhetorical 



CHURCH DRIFT. 



I 9 



qualifications are required, and the question is 
not asked whether the minister has the Scriptural 
qualification, 6 apt to teach,' but whether he will 
be popular. As a result, there is a surprising 
ignorance among intelligent Christians as to the 
history and doctrines of the church, the theories 
of government and worship, and even the Scrip- 
tures themselves. They know about literature 
and science, but they know not the Bible and 
Christian doctrine." 

The Rev. Dr. J. M. Buckley, one of the noted 
Methodist ministers of New York, in an address 
before the American Evangelical Alliance, Bos- 
ton, Dec. 5th, '89, said : a Get rid of extravagance 
and ostentation in church and private expendi- 
ture, WHICH OFTEN MAKES A MINISTER THE MASTER 
OF CEREMONIES IN AN EXCLUSIVE CLUB. The next 

need is improvement in our methods of attract- 
ing the young. They are largely social, to a 

LESS DEGREE INTELLECTUAL, AND VERY LITTLE OF 
THE SPIRITUAL." 

Furthermore, the church as the body of Christ 
organized for work, is well-nigh buried beneath 
the multiplicity of societies. These societies do 
good. But they are not an unmixed good. The 
church, officered and equipped in the name and 
by the authority of Christ, is all but hidden 
away, and lost sight of, by these societies. Being 
independent of the church, they often run to ex- 



20 



CHURCH DRIFT. 



tremes, force the members into positions incon- 
sistent with their profession, make them join 
hands with that against which they testify, and, 
therefore, along with the good accomplished, 
they teach error, and are spiritually demoralizing. 
In all the popular societies, such as the Woman's 
Christian Temperance Union, Young People's 
Society of Christian Endeavor in their General 
Meetings, Young Men's Christian Associations, 
etc., a corrupt worship is used. But there is still 
a greater harm : The church, as Christ's or- 
ganized society, has virtually surrendered the 
field, in reforms, and in departments of Chris- 
tian work, to these irresponsible agencies, going 
so far at times as to raise means through Christ's 
organized channels, and then turning over the 
moneys to irresponsible organizations. The bad 
effects are seen nowhere so much as in the 
church. The world loses sight of the organ- 
ized CHURCH AS A WORKING FORCE. We COn- 

ceive that this is : (a) A great dishonor to the 
church's Head, the Lord Christ ; (b) Instills er- 
ror into the minds of the young ; (c) Defeats the 
purposes for which denominations have solemnly 
separated from their brethren ; (d) measurably 
nullifies their testimony ; (e) And produces a spirit 
of independence of the authority which Christ 
lodged in the church. This is the era of socie- 
ties. It is also the era of the decline of doctrine 



CHURCH DRIFT. 



21 



and conscientious regard for God's law. It is the 
era of Sabbath breaking, and Sabbath papers in 
the church. There is a surrender to this part of 
the devil's infernal artillery. One of the most 
noted ministers in New York, a pastor of one 
of the largest churches in one of the orthodox 
denominations, preached to his people on Sab- 
bath, Nov. 3d, '89, these words : " If you must 
have a Sabbath paper, do get one that an intelli- 
gent Christian man need not be ashamed to have 
left at his door." Thus the tide rolls on. It is not 
believed that hope lies in societies. They com- 
promise God's truth in the hope of greater advan- 
tage resulting from co-operation, and thus be- 
come the incipient stage of error. But hope does 
lie in bringing the church of God once more 

TO THE FRONT AS AN ORGANIZED WORKING FORCE. 

This will honor the church's Head ; will exalt 
His truth and doctrine to their proper place ; 
will purify the church of immoralities, and will 
call down His Spirit, which will produce a revival 
and reformation. 

Furthermore, this is the age in which Reason 
receives distinguished consideration. Reason is 
exalted. It unseats Jehovah and usurps His pre- 
rogatives. This may serve to illustrate : Reason 
says it cannot be that a merciful God will damn 
little children — infants. Then it grapples with 
the problem of the damnation of the heathen, 



CHURCH DRIFT. 



and concludes that a holy God cannot damn ihem 
forever, and that there must be opportunity for 
them to repent after death. To be consistent, 
Reason should take these positions also : God 
did wrong in permitting the entrance of sin ; He 
does wrong in every infliction of punishment ; 
He should be condemned, and is worthy of 
reprobation, for the awful judgments and scourges 
by which He has judged the race, and He should 
provide for the devil's opportunity to be saved. 
Thus Reason goes up and God goes down. 
This is one of the significant signs of the times. 
Men ask themselves, not God, what is right and 
what is wrong. They conclude what they want, 
and then affirm that the justice and mercy of 
God demand that He give it. Thus Satan to- 
day reproduces the scene in the Garden, and is 
causing some of national reputation, and many 
but less distinguished, to say to the unsanctified 
in Christian lands and to the heathen world, 
" Thou shalt not die." 

Many other things should be referred to in 
this connection, and with direct bearing on the 
subject in hand, and which show the " drift " 
from the "truth as it is in Jesus," but space for- 
bids. 

" This know also, that in the last days perilous 
times shall come " (2 Tim. iii : 1). 



THE WITNESSING CHURCH. 



23 



CHAPTER II. 

THE WITNESSING CHURCH. 

The term u witnessing" is used advisedly, but 
not to draw invidious distinctions. God has a 
witnessing church. The measurements by which 
this body is determined are not the popular ones, 
such as size, worldly honor, wealth, great insti- 
tutions, world-wide fame, etc.; but the meas- 
urements of the Word of God. The term " wit- 
nessing " suggests gradation. And with this 
gradation, size, wealth, fame, have nothing to do: 
no more so than the size, the wealth, the fame of 
a witness in court. The whole question is one of 
knowledge and willingness to tell. In atrial be- 
fore a jury there are principal witnesses. Some 
may know much about the cause in dispute. 
But if it be a question of murder, those who know 
even much are not sufficient. There must be 
witnesses who know the exact facts. These last 
are the principal witnesses, and may be prop- 
erly spoken of as the witnesses who secured the 
condemnation or the release of the accused. The 
term " Witnessing Church " is used in this sense. 
Such church is the principal witness for the 
truth, and the whole truth, " Ye are my wit- 



24 



THE WITNESSING CHURCH. 



nesses." " Ye shall be witnesses unto me both 
in Jerusalem." ... " We are his witnesses unto 
the people/' This enables us to better under- 
stand that passage in Rev. xi : 3 : " And I will 
give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall 
prophesy a thousand two hundred and three- 
score days, clothed in sackcloth. . . . And when 
they shall have finished their testimony, the beast 
that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall 
make war against them, and shall overcome 
them, and kill them. And their dead bodies 
shall lie in the street of the great city, which 
spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt. . . . And 
after three days and a half the spirit of life from 
God entered into them, and they stood upon 
their feet ; and great fear fell upon them which 
saw them. And they heard a great voice from 
heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And 
they ascended up to heaven in a cloud ; and their 
enemies beheld them." 

This much debated passage cannot mean the 
destruction of the church, even for the brief 
space of three years and a half. It is believed 
that it is properly explained when it is made to 
refer to the decline of orthodoxy, decline in doc- 
trinal soundness the " slaying of the witnesses " 
that stand for the whole truth, leaving 
all others. These witnesses, having been cor- 
rupted, and thus figuratively slain, are, by the 



THE WITNESSING CHURCH. 



2 5 



Spirit of God, after " three days and a half — " 
supposed to refer to years — raised again to their 
former position. This is set forth in these words: 
" They ascended up to heaven in a cloud ; and 
their enemies beheld them." They are brought 
back to the position of great influence and 
power. Whether the slaying of the witnesses is 
past, present, or to come, it is not the province of 
these pages to determine. But it is confidently 
believed that the Covenanter denomination can 
justly claim, above all others, to witness for the 
whole truth, in doctrine, worship, discipline 
and government ; in purity of conduct required ; 
in spirituality in the membership. It roots in the 
conflicts for truth in Scotland, where the bones 
of the fathers and martyrs mingle with the dust. 
It stands upon that same truth to-day which God 
blessed in rich abundance, and proclaims it to 
the world. No denomination witnesses for the 
kingly office of Christ as does the Covenanter. 
Others have the doctrine in their declaration of 
principles, and preach it in a modified form. But 
the Reformed Presbyterian Church preaches it 
and practices it. This last is the test of value. 
Covenanters witness for the absolute supremacy 
of Christ in church and state. The United 
States reject Christ and His authority. The 
Covenanter Church, alone from all other denom- 
inations, takes the witness stand, and gives testi- 



26 



THE WITNESSING CHURCH. 



mony before this nation that that is wrong ; that 
it will call down His judgments ; that war with 
the Son of God for possession of these domin- 
ions will be disastrous, and, in the end, de- 
structive. The Covenanter Church is the prin- 
cipal witness, and can justly receive the 
title, "Witnessing Church." Sister denomina- 
tions, especially of the Presbyterian family, have 
made departures from the attainments of Refor- 
mation. They have given up truth. They have 
accepted error. The amount, in either depart- 
ment, is witnessed by the chasm between them 
and the old stock, Covenanters. If the term 
" witnesses " is rightly interpreted above, viz., 
those who hold the whole truth, these sister de- 
nominations can no longer claim the title, in that 
there is acknowledged and manifest departure in 
doctrine, worship and practice from the high 
attainments of the Reformation. But the Cove- 
nanter Church conserves these truths for which the 
martyrs died. It holds them amid some reproach 
and public condemnation. But this is only addi- 
tional evidence to the truth held : " Ye shall be 
hated of all nations for my name's sake." 

But the " Witnessing Church " is not without 
its dangers. The tide of liberalism, the latitudin- 
arian views, the opinions and doctrines contrary 
to the established standards of faith, the hetero- 
dox theology , the sophistry of error, are causing 



THE WITNESSING CHURCH. 



2 7 



the tide to set hard against the old foundations. 
From the days of the Revolution Settlement, the 
little, staunch bark, which kept aloft the Blue 
Banner of the Covenant, has been buffeted by 
storm and tempest. Oft they have thought her 
sinking, but she rises above the roll of waters, and 
her voice is still heard above the angry billows, 
u for Christ's crown and covenant!" 

She crossed the seas and planted the standard 
of the Mediatorial Dominion of Christ, and the 
purity of His worship. The varied experiences 
through which the denomination has passed in 
this land have been honorable, and reflect credit 
upon the descendants of a martyred ancestry. 
The trials of '33, when one-half the ministry and 
membership laid down their arms and inglori- 
ously surrendered to the infidel State, were 
severe and searching. It left only the Gideon 
band of " three hundred." But men whose " hearts 
God had touched," they were like " the men of 
Judah, who clave to their king." They closed up 
the broken ranks; gave the work of the church 
thorough and systematic reorganization ; and in 
unbounded confidence in the Most High and in 
Jesus their Redeemer and Lord, began, by the 
grace of God, converting, comforting and build- 
ing up. The Head of the church greatly blessed 
their labors. So long as all eyes were fixed on 
the Son of God as the Supreme in church and 



28 



THE WITNESSING CHURCH. 



state, there was a peaceful and happy people. 
But of late years, especially during the last 
decade, there has been undisguised unrest. Ques- 
tions settled long ago are again opened. By 
sophistry, and a political philosophy which can 
mean nothing if necessary, and yet be sum- 
moned to support the most heretical conclusions, 
these questions are again pressed. 

The " Witnessing Church " is being, or is 
about to be, tried on these three among other 
lines : The temperance question in its political 
aspects ; dissent as a term of communion ; 
church union. These shall be considered, in 
the following pages, in the inverse order as 
named here. The denomination is already in the 
crucible in its political relations to the constitu- 
tion in the matter of temperance. That " dis- 
sent " should be dethroned as a term of com- 
munion has been put forth in undisguised and 
open declaration. A new basis of church 
union, shrewedly discussed and with no little 
sophistry, has been repeatedly put before the 
church. " Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the 
ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is 
the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall 
find rest for your souls" (Jer. vi: 16). " That 
we henceforth be no more children, tossed to 
and fro, and carried about with every wind of 
doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craft- 



CHURCH UNION. 



2 9 



iness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive" 
(Eph. iv : 14). " For the time will come when 
they will not endure sound doctrine, but after 
their own lusts shall they heap to themselves 
teachers, having itching ears ; and they shall 
turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be 
turned unto fables " (2 Tim. iv : 3, 4). 



CHAPTER III. 

CHURCH UNION— THE STATE OF THE 
QUESTION. 

At the present time, church union is exciting 
more or less attention. It is being discussed 
from many points of view. Church courts give 
deliverances. Ministers preach sermons. Editors 
write editorials. Views somewhat visionary and 
more or less impracticable are now and then 
put forth. For the most part, " church drift " 
is left out of calculation, but it is believed to be 
of serious importance in the final solution of the 
question of church union. Meantime, as show- 
ing the practical state of the question, let the 
following points be considered and remembered : 
First. Congregations in the same denomination' 
still divide, and on trivial grounds. 



3° 



CHURCH UNION. 



People in the same congregation think they 
cannot worship together. They have become 
divided into parties. Each works for the suprem- 
acy. The friction becomes more and more in- 
tense and bitter and outspoken. At last they 
divide on a church site ; the new building ; the 
choice of a pastor ; the election of elders ; the 
congregation's change of location, etc., etc. This 
takes place in denominations and v in congrega- 
tions. In a congregation of a sister denomina- 
tion in New York there was great strife for the 
greater part of a year. The point of difference 
was, " Should the congregation move seventeen 
or eighteen squares." Some said, yes, others, no. 
They divided. On pretexts of various kinds, 
members of the same denomination and of the 
same congregation have refused to dwell together 
and worship together. Nor would it appear that 
the children of God are sanctified from this evil 
to-day more than two generations ago. " Physi- 
cian, heal thyself." This phase of the subject 
is important and significant. 

Second. There is, perhaps, no denomination in 
which there is, in officers and members, entire 
unanimity of views. Diversity of opinion is more 
marked in some than in others. In some, rela- 
tions are strained. There is, perhaps, in every 
denomination, the two parties — the Liberal and 
the Conservative. These have many things in com- 



THE STATE OF THE QUESTION. 



31 



mon. They harmonize in much. But they differ. 
They differ energetically. The Liberals push 
ahead, the Conservatives hold back. An examina- 
tion of the " down grade " movement in the Free 
Church, the Established Church, the Presbyte- 
rian Church, the United Presbyterian Church, etc., 
in Scotland, shows that every step was zealously 
opposed by the Conservative wing in these 
churches. But they were borne down. The 
Liberals carried the day by force of numbers. In 
the more orthodox churches in the United States 
there is plainly seen these opposing parties. In 
the Presbyterian, the impatient Liberals cannot 
go fast enough. They have already swept out 
of the way many things held dear by their pre- 
decessors. They are now directing their efforts 
against that time-honored bulwark of Christian 
liberty —The Confession of Faith. They openly 
declare war against some of the doctrines therein 
taught. These measures are opposed by the 
Conservative wing. They oppose energetically. 
The results cannot yet be determined. The Pres- 
byterian Church, of seven hundred thousand 
members, may yet divide on the question of 
revision. In the United Presbyterian Church 
there has been discussion and discussion, agita- 
tion and agitation, crimination and recrimina- 
tion, congregational divisions and divisions, 
over the instrumental music question. The Lib- 



32 



CHURCH UNION. 



eral party say, "We will have them"; the Con- 
servative, " You must not." Thus the strife goes 
on. Nor is it settled after seven years. The 
Conservatives must divide the denomination or 
submit to what they believe to be wrong. Either 
possibility does not witness to church union. In 
the Reformed Presbyterian denomination the 
Liberal and Conservative parties are marked. 
The Liberals are pushing on. The more ad- 
vanced hold Liberal theories on church union. 
They advocate the use of the ballot to put the 
will of the people into law without recognition 
of Christ. They advocate the throwing open of 
pulpits to ministers of other denominations, 
which is, practically, but under disguise, " open 
communion." To these measures the Conserv- 
ative party is opposed. They work energetically 
for the truth as it is in Jesus. They " earnestly 
contend for the faith once delivered to the saints." 
They-" stand in the way, and see, and ask for the 
old paths." It is not in place here to discuss 
the differences that exist within the various de- 
nominations, further than to give proof of their 
presence. This phase of the question of " church 
union" is not "full of promise." It is not even 
hopeful. There are almost as serious hin- 
drances to union within denominations as without. 
For these elements of separation do not tend 
to remove themselves. It is a conflict of light 



THE STATE OF THE QUESTION. 



33 



with darkness ; of right with wrong ; of error 
with truth. The present state of the question 
shows that " brethren do not dwell together in 
unity," even in the same denomination. This 
phase of the situation, in view of church union, 
is of serious consideration. " Physician, heal 
thyself." 

Third. To throw all churches into one denom- 
ination, while in their present state, would be a 
calamity. There are more serious evils than the 
existence of denominations. One would be the 
church in her present imperfection without them. 
What gives rise to denominations ? In a word, 
Conscience. They rise because men believe some- 
thing ; because they are willing to stand by that 
belief ; to suffer for it if necessary ; to preach it 
to the world, and to go to the judgment feeling 
that that is the very truth of God. What a bless- 
ing this devotion to truth has been to the world ! 
" Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on 
the throne," yet conscience, faith, belief, devo- 
tion to truth have led men and women and chil- 
dren to take their stand with truth on the scaf- 
fold. They have died in multitudes ever since 
the time of Christ. Not because they do not hold 
life dear, but because they hold the truth dearer. 
The world has stood in wonder and admiration. 
By their fidelity and suffering, truth has been pre- 
served. It rose from the scaffold. It came forth 



34 



CHURCH UNION. 



from the ashes of the stake. Filled with daunt- 
less courage, and girded with invincible deter- 
mination, they stood as the rocky crag in the 
mountain storm. That same spirit is in the 
church to-day. Men in Christian lands are not 
called upon to go to the stake or to the dungeon 
because of their belief, but they do feel called 
upon to separate themselves from error. And 
when the majority insist upon establishing error 
in doctrine, worship or government, conscience 
and fidelity to God-given and divinely imposed 
trust make it imperative that they come out and 
stand for the truth as it is in Jesus. This devotion 
to truth is an element in the church's vital energy. 
Take it away and the nerve has been cut. 

Further : That which gives rise to divisions is 
itself the ground of hope that divisions will be 
removed. When we see men, women and chil- 
dren foregoing honor, preferment, worldly suc- 
cess, -and willing to endure reproach for Christ 
and His truth, there is discovered in those very 
conditions the elements of character necessary to 
a united church. To throw all into one denom- 
ination, things being as now, would be a calam- 
ity, in that it would destroy this sense of private 
and public obligation to the Word of God. The 
outcome would be a church without bone or 
sinew or strength ; it would be as weak as the 
theory upon which it would rest, and by which 



THE STATE OF THE 



QUESTION. 



35 



it sought justification. We are glad there is 
grace in the church to divide, rather than become 
corrupt as a whole. The grace which refuses to 
be associated with error is that which works and 
builds up the cause of Christ. There is tendency 
in these last days to make little of doctrine. This 
is not an omen favorable to church union. The 
more intense the convictions, the more zealous 
for the truth, the brighter the prospects. The 
person most difficult to move is the man who be- 
lieves but little. The same is true as to denom- 
inations. Leave denominations alone rather 
than throw them into one, believing as they do. 
It would be, in the opinion of the writer, the 
most serious harm. 

Fourth. There is and has been a general and 
public recognition of Christian brotherhood and 
work among all the denominations. The writer 
has access to denominational literature in almost 
ail the denominations. He has had the privilege 
of attending the highest church courts in some 
of them. Neither in the literature nor in deliv- 
erances of church courts do you find, what some 
advocates of union are pleased to term " fight- 
ing," " Stand by thyself, for I am holier than 
thou," " War to the knife and the knife to the 
hilt," as if Christians had nothing to do but bite 
and devour one another. The literature and de- 
liverances of church courts in all the denomina- 



36 



CHURCH UNION. 



tions dismiss as false such charge against their 
mutual respect and love. And when any min- 
ister, editor or writer makes such statement, he 
should be asked to " read up." There is recog- 
nition of Christian brotherhood everywhere. 
There is love between the denominations. There 
is common interest in Christ and in the success 
of His cause. The literature discloses nine times 
more bitter discussions between members of the 
same body. No. Although the church is sadly 
divided, and for which " there should be great 
searchings of heart," yet resources are not wasted 
in biting and devouring one another. There are 
deep, abiding principles of love between denomina- 
tions. There are earnest prayers for each other. 
There is common interest in souls. When men, 
women and children are converted, whether by 
Methodist, Presbyterian, United Presbyterian, or 
Covenanter, there is joy throughout the whole 
household and family of Christ. 

Further : It cannot be said, justly, that denom- 
inations hinder each other, no more so than 
congregations of the same deno7nination. Congrega- 
tions of the same denomination often occupy the 
same territory. In every city where there are 
two or more congregations in the same body, 
they are, not sometimes, but every time, thoroughly 
mixed together. They are not divided geograph- 
ically. Thus two or more churches are sustained 



THEORIES PROPOSED. 



37 



There is as much waste within denominational 
lines as because of them. Arguments produced 
as to denominational hindrances, can, with change 
of name, be applied to congregations of the same 
denomination occupying the same ground. 
" Physician, heal thyself." 



CHAPTER IV. 

CHURCH UNION. 

THEORIES PROPOSED. 

" Union " is from the Latin, unus, one. The 
word may be used in two senses : ist. Two or 
more things of different qualities and elements 
joined into one. Iron and brass may thus be 
joined. Yet each retains its own characteristics. 
The iron does not become brass, nor the brass 
iron. 2d. Having the requisite qualities, the 
things united become one in fact. Of churches, 
agreement of mind, will, spirit, affections. Church 
union is not desired under the first, but under 
the second. It contemplates a spiritual oneness, 
a flowing together, a " walking together " because 
" agreed." Putting denominations together on 
other basis would lead to strife and bitterness. 



38 



CHURCH UNION. 



True union is desired. Let the following propo- 
sitions, to this end, be noted: 

AMERICAN EPISCOPAL CHURCH. 

Of the plans for the reunion of Christendom, 
perhaps the proposal of the American Episcopal 
Church is the clearest and most concisely stated. 
It is grouped in these four: 

" That, in the opinion of this Conference, the 
following Articles supply a basis on which 
approach may be by God's blessing made toward 
home reunion: (a) The Holy Scriptures of the 
Old and New Testaments, as containing all 
things necessary to salvation,and as being the rule 
and ultimate standard of faith; (b) The Apostles' 
Creed as the baptismal symbol, and the Nicene 
Creed as the sufficient statement of the Christian 
faith; (c) The two sacraments ordained by 
Christ Himself — Baptism and the Lord's Supper 
— ministered with unfailing use of Christ's words 
of institution, and of the elements ordained by 
Him; (d) The Historic Episcopate, locally adapt- 
ed in the methods of its administration to the 
varying needs of the nations and peoples called 
of God into the unity of His church." 

The Presbytery of New York (Presbyterian). 

" Your Committee recommend that this Pres- 
bytery overture the General Assembly to invite 
the co-operation of the Presbyterian and Reform- 



THEORIES PROPOSED. 



39 



ed Churches of America and Great Britain and 
of Ireland to formulate a short and simple creed, 
couched so far as may be in Scriptural language, 
and containing all the essential and necessary 
articles of the Westminster Confession, which 
creed shall be submitted for approval and adop- 
tion as the common creed of the Presbyterian 
and Reformed Churches of the world. " 

EMINENT MEN. 

Dr. Patton, President of Princeton College, 
says: 

" Those who advocate revision can perhaps be 
comprehended in three classes, ist. Those who 
are Calvinists, and who ask only for a few 
changes, and for such as do not impair the integ- 
rity of the Calvinistic system. 2d. Those who, 
whether consciously or unconsciously, are not 
Calvinists and who make demands for a Revis- 
ion which would impair the integrity of the 
Calvinistic system. 3d. Those who, whether 
Calvinistic or not, are Comprehensionists who 
are ready, in the interests of catholicity to see 
the Confession superseded by a shorter creed, or 
its doctrinal area greatly contracted. " 

Drs. Hastings and Schaff: 

Some of the most scholarly, popular and widely 
known ministers in the Presbyterian Church, 
such as Drs. Hastings and Schaff, of Union 



4o 



CHURCH UNION. 



Theological Seminary, Dr. McCosh, ex-President 
of Princeton College, and others but less distin- 
guished, advocate, " A brief, simple and popular 
creed, which shall briefly and tersely express, for 
laymen as well as ministers, only the cardinal 
doctrines of faith and duty." 

UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. 

Some in the United Presbyterian Church urge 
that their " creed is too long, that men in this age 
of bustle and excitement cannot take time to 
study and digest it "; therefore a shorter one is 
to be desired. These views, somewhat modified, 
are held by a few in the Covenanter Church. 

Two things, it is believed, are in the near 
future : ist. A short creed which will leave out 
and pass over doctrines contested within or 
between denominations. 2d. Great effort will 
be made to unite the churches, especially those 
of the Presbyterian family, on this short creed. 

Running through the opinions cited, there is a 
theory of church union. It takes definite form 
and comes plainly to view, in the terms proposed 
by the American Episcopal Church. But their 
terms are to be viewed with great suspicion. 
The Nicene Creed of fifteen centuries ago is a 
limited epitome of doctrine as developed up to 
date, but has nothing against the errors in doc- 
trine or practice which have since appeared. 



THEORIES PROPOSED. 



41 



Furthermore, the Historic Episcopate is just 
what Presbyterians witness against. They suffer- 
ed too much at the hands of Episcopacy two hun- 
dred and fifty years ago, to now peacefully drop 
into the tiger's mouth. The plan contemplates, 
also, the continuance of corrupt worship, liturgy, 
vestments, holy days, etc., etc. It is on the "giving 
up" plan. The " short, simple creed " is on the 
" giving up " plan. Advocates of union hope to 
solve the problem this way. Some propose a 
federation of denominations, something like our 
general government over the States, each 
denomination to retain its independent form and 
organization, with advisory powers committed 
to the federation. But this would not be church 
union, nor is it probable. The theory of a "short, 
simple creed " is the one commanding attention 
in the present day and condition of the church. 
It should be thoroughly studied. If right, it 
should be hailed with undisguised satisfaction; 
if wrong, the reasons assigned should be such as 
will satisfy thinking and conscientious people, 
and clearly based upon the Scriptures. The 
Comprehensionists would probably embrace by 
far the larger number in the Presbyterian Church 
who to-day desire revision. They would pare 
down the creeds and confessions until you have 
a common platform acceptable to all Christen- 
dom. 



42 



CHURCH UNION. 



There are three serious objections to an attempt 
at church union on the theory proposed: 

i st. It would remove the buhv arks against error. 
It is necessary in this connection to emphasize 
the growth of doctrine. In medicine, great prog- 
ress has been made in the three centuries past. 
The nineteenth has witnessed more advance in 
the healing art than any. But there exists 
an ever operative necessity. New diseases, and 
old diseases in new forms, are ever appearing. 
The old remedies will not meet the necessities of 
the case. The new have been developed, in the 
providence of God, as the necessity for them 
arose. This will illustrate the growth of error, 
and the corresponding development of doctrine. 
" Sanctify them through thy truth/' During 
the fourth and fifth centuries, there were great 
controversies over Christ's divinity and humani- 
ty. Strong factions arose which said He was 
not divine. Others, again, that He was not 
human. After long and heated discussions, the 
highest church courts condemned the errors 
concerning Christ's divinity and humanity. Pass 
down to the era of Luther and Knox. The error 
of justification by works had all but taken away 
the necessity of Christ's death. But God con- 
demned the error, and published, emphasized 
and declared, through the reformers and the 
purified church, the doctrine of justification by 



THEORIES PROPOSED. 



43 



faith. The Pope claimed to be head of the 
church, as did the rulers in the British Isles. 
God condemned the error and set forth the Head- 
ship of Christ. As new diseases have developed, 
new medicines, which, indeed, always existed, but 
undiscovered, so errors, as they rise out of the 
unsanctified heart, have been made subservient 
to truth in this — they have made its development 
necessary. Thus God makes " the wrath of man 
to praise Him." The wealth of doctrine, glean- 
ed from the Scriptures as set forth in the Con- 
fession of Faith and Testimony of the Covenant- 
er Church, is traceable to this cause, as the very 
wars in which nations have engaged have devel- 
oped a wealth of defensive and offensive mate- 
rial. 

Given: These doctrines, developed through 
the ages in defense of truth and in opposition to 
error, what shall be done with them ? Let it be 
remembered that error is operative always. It 
is the devil's artillery. It is planted and manned. 
The Scriptural doctrine raised up to combat the 
error is the means of defense. Shall it be remov- 
ed ? To do so would leave the church unpro- 
tected, in hostile surroundings. If the doc- 
trine of Christ's humanity be removed as 
part of the confession of Christ's name on enter- 
ing the communion of the church, then the 
adversary could " run in," through the disman- 



44 



CHURCH UNION. 



tied fortress, those who would make havoc of 
the church. If the doctrine of justification by 
faith be removed as part of the confession of 
Christ's name, the church would be immediately 
corrupted. Along the coast of Holland, mighty 
dykes keep back the sea. These are, in places, 
fifty feet high. The tops of church steeples, in 
the low lands, would reach but the level of the 
waters. Those bulwarks are absolutely necessa- 
ry. Take them away, and the waters would roll 
over city, town and country, in their mad career. 
Evil and sin piles up about the church on every 
hand. The wall to keep these out is the truth 
as it is in Jesus. To remove the truth would 
appear to be suicidal. To have church union 
on a few fundamental doctrines, would be to 
dismantle the great mass of fortifications which 
the church has builded these centuries. For the 
semi-evangelical churches to ask that a union be 
formed on the basis of a few fundamental doc- 
trines, is like the wolves demanding of the sheep 
that the dogs be given up as the preliminaries to 
a lasting peace. 

2d. Such union would leave the church corrupt and 
without means of purification. The church has, 
during all these thousands of years, suffered more 
from internal than external harm. A pure church 
is God's dwelling place, as witnesses the admin- 
istration of the Covenant under the old dispen- 



THEORIES PROPOSED. 



45 



sation. Corrupt kings and a corrupt church 
were at the mercy of enemies. It was internal 
corruption which gave the church into the hands 
of the Chaldeans. Jerusalem was the scene of 
awful desolations and unutterable sorrows 
because of a corrupt church. This tendency to 
become internally corrupt is none the less marked 
in New Testament times. The Reformations 
witness to that fact. Wealth, luxury, ambition, 
worldliness, vice, these " have wounded her well- 
nigh to death, when she has been invincible 
against the scimiter of Mohammedan or the vio- 
lence of Hun." In Reformation times, as on to 
the present, new sects, more or less fanatical, 
arose. They developed within the church. As in 
such cases, some truth would be held along with 
a mass of error. Sometimes there would be held 
but one heretical doctrine. In these times this 
growth of error within the church is plainly 
manifest. There are bodies of men who claim to 
be Christian, but who take Saturday for Sabbath, 
and speak of the enforcement of the Sabbath law 
as persecution. They work on the Lord's day 
and insist that this is right. Starting with pure 
worship at the Reformations, the growth of error 
within the church is marked. Hymns of human 
have displaced songs of Divine composition. The 
organ, the drum, the violin, the cornet, the flute, 
have well-nigh destroyed the voice of song in the 



4 6 



CHURCH UNION. 



worship of God. Until thirty years ago the 
admission of slaveholders into the communion of 
the church was not, by nearly all the denomina- 
tions, questioned. The brewer and saloon keeper 
are, to-day, admitted into many of them. The 
corruptions of oath-bound associations are by 
many denominations not considered wrong. To 
swear allegiance to a constitution which is bar- 
ren of any recognition of God, or of the binding 
obligation of God's law, or of being bound to 
God's law as citizens and officers, is believed by 
Covenanters to be wrong, but is not questioned 
by the great body of Christians. The lines men- 
tioned serve for illustration. Corruptions grow 
up within the church. The question is, What 
shall the church do ? What is duty ? What does 
God's Word say ? What are the examples in the 
New Testament church, in the premises ? It 
stands to reason that these errors cannot be left 
in the church. Evil within the church, as with- 
out it, tends to spread. " Evil men and seducers 
waxed worse and worse." Examples in the New 
Testament show that corrupters are not to be 
left in the church. " Now I beseech you, brethren, 
mark them which cause divisions and offenses 
contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, 
and avoid them" (Rom. xvi:i7). " If any man obey 
not our word by this epistle, note that man, and 
have no company with him, that he maybe ashamed. 



THEORIES PROPOSED. 



47 



Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish 
him as a brother" (2 Thes. iii: 14). " Now we 
command you, brethren, in the name of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw from every 
brother that walketh disorderly and not after the 
tradition which he received from us" (2 Thes. 
iii:6). A charge is very solemn when delivered 
in the name of Christ. Such is this. There can 
be no doubt as to the duty here enjoined. The 
word "brother" makes the command refer to 
those who have been in church relation. And 
still a "brother," but one from whom the church 
must "withdraw." It is admitted on every hand 
that this refers to putting a " brother " under 
suspension, for holding error in doctrine or in 
practice. The other passages cited refer to the 
same duty. If these three passages are not 
authority for suspension, an hundred would not 
be. Let it be admitted, then, that " to suspend " 
is right. Put it stronger: To suspend is a com- 
mand given by the church's Head. We are now 
ready for this statement, viz.: A church court is 
limited in its exercise of discipline to that which legiti- 
mately falls within the " confession " in doctrine, wor- 
ship and government of that particular denomination. 

Suppose a United Presbyterian should be 
"disciplined" for voting ! He could not be, for 
voting is not recognized in their public confes- 
sion, as wrong. Could a Presbyterian be sus- 



48 



CHURCH UNION. 



pended for singing hymns? No; and for the 
reason the confessions of that branch of the 
church do not recognize that to be wrong. To 
do so by force would be ecclesiastical despotism. 
These serve to illustrate a very important truth. 
There must be a public confession co-extensive 
with the field in which discipline shall be exer- 
cised. And that public confession must be writ- 
ten out, in all its departments, and in simple 
language, else you have not dealt fair]y and truly 
with the confessor. 

The point in discussion, under this head, will 
now be understood: A union on a few funda- 
mental PRINCIPLES WOULD LEAVE THE CHURCH 
CORRUPT AND WITHOUT MEANS OR POWER OF 

purification. If any doctrine in the public 
profession be set aside, discipline within that 
field must be discontinued. If all doctrine but 
a few which wise heads have deemed " funda- 
mental" be set aside, discipline as to errors in 
belief or practice must be discontinued, except 
within the limits of the "fundamental." It will 
be seen that this throws the church open to error, 
and leaves her at the mercy of the transgressor. 
Unsanctified men and women "could cause divis- 
ions and offenses contrary to the doctrine," and 
" brothers could walk disorderly " and "obey not 
our word by this epistle," and the church would 
not have the power to " avoid them," " withdraw 



THEORIES PROPOSED. 49 



from them " or " have no company with them." 
Not only, therefore, would the church be corrupt- 
ed by this theory of church union, but the plain 
command of Christ would be disregarded, and 
His infinite wisdom questioned. To "withdraw 
from the brother who walketh disorderly " has 
been the history of the church during, and since 
the Reformations, as it was in times of the 
Apostles. But it rests upon the full and impar- 
tial public declaration of truth and duty set at 
the entrance door. 

3d. Church union on a few fundame?ital doctrines 
would be a rejection of the light, teaching, and work 
of the Holy Ghost, shed abroad through the church in 
all the New Testament era. 

The promise for New Testament times was, " I 
will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your 
sons and your daughters shall prophesy; your old 
men shall dream dreams, and your young men 
shall see visions" (Joel ii 128). The promise was 
fulfilled at Pentecost, and in the abundance of the 
Spirit, in the church, from that day to this. With 
this special outpouring of the Spirit, a work, not 
only in times of the Apostles, but in all the history 
of the New Testament church, is to be looked for, 
in keeping with the dignity, power and wisdom 
of the Holy Ghost. Such work is seen in the 
development of doctrine, worship, discipline and 
government, as well as in calling, converting and 



5° 



CHURCH UNION. 



sanctifying the multitudes of redeemed. To 
see the work of the Spirit in the development of 
truth, it is only necessary to realize how human 
nature fights every step upward in doctrine or 
practice. God is never in a hurry. So ages have 
been used in the work thus far. God permits 
His truth to "soak," if a familiar expression be 
allowed. No generation, perhaps, takes more 
than one step. Doctrine has been a slow but 
steady growth. Every now and then new forms 
of error arise. The devil makes a flank move- 
ment. Just now, the United Presbyterians in 
India are suffering from the inroads of Catholi- 
cism. In July, priests and nuns landed. Their 
plan is to proselyte the Protestant converts. By 
wiles and cunning and deceit, and outward show 
and pomp (to which human nature falls so will- 
ingly a prey) they are having astonishing success. 
The "Clerk's Newsletter/' from India, says, " The 
Christians here, as yet, especially those of trie- 
villages affected, are very ignorant, and in regard 
to the Roman Catholic controversy practically 
know next to nothing. They become an easy 
prey to enemies as wily and deceptive as the 
agents of Rome." The coming of this unherald- 
ed and undesired enemy in the mission field in 
India will be of immense advantage in the devel- 
opment of resources. While the church may be 
taken by surprise, the Spirit is not. He permits 



THEORIES PROPOSED. 



51 



the church to feel the force of these errors, to 
show her the necessity of being purged from them. 
Then the Spirit leads to the armory of God, and 
furnishes His church with " weapons not carnal, 
but mighty." He develops from the Scriptures, 
doctrines which He lays as a wall about His peo- 
ple. To question the importance or necessity of 
this work is to question God's dealings with the 
church in the last eighteen hundred years. The 
wisdom of God called out the various providences 
which made the study of the Scriptures, in oppo- 
sition to error, necessary. Thus the wealth of 
Scripture is revealed. As each new doctrine was 
set forth, it was,in nearly every instance, laid in the 
walls of the New Testament church, cemented 
with the blood of the most devoted followers of 
the Lamb, those with the heart to believe and the 
courage to declare. Indeed, almost every step in 
the development of doctrine has been through 
the fires of persecution, the blood of the scaffold, 
the dungeon, and unutterable sorrows. Thus the 
Spirit has led the church. But we look back and 
thank God, grateful that we enter into the 
fruits of their sorrows and the heritage of their 
fidelity; for in this is our peace. But shall these 
fortresses " in opposition to error and in defense 
of truth" be given up — all excepting a few deemed to 
be fundamental ? Shall the saints in one age 
die for what may now be lightly cast aside? Shall 



52 



CHURCH UNION. 



the Spirit labor thus for eighteen hundred years 
to see His church now forsake the positions to 
which He has led her ? Will the saints of God 
be thus betrayed into a union which so dishonors 
the Holy Ghost ? A half-dozen fundamental 
doctrines, forsooth, and all else of the work of 
the Spirit left to be preached, practiced, believed, 
etc., as the individual sees fit ! And this to be 
called " church union "! "Tell it not in Gath, 
publish it not in the streets of Askelon, lest the 
daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the 
daughters of the uncircumsized triumph !" "The 
bed is shorter than that a man can stretch him- 
self on it; and the covering narrower than that 
he can wrap himself in it" (Isaiah xxviii:2o). 
Such dishonor to the Spirit and His work 
and light and teaching for the last eight- 
een hundred years will not be permitted 
by the followers of Christ ! It should be 
remarked, here, that some of those who propose 
church union on the basis of a few fundamental 
doctrines, would say that other doctrines, the vast 
bulk of the creeds and confessions of Christen- 
dom, should be set forth as " testimony" by the 
church, but not demanded of the confessor in his 
public confession. But who, even though the 
theory should prevail, shall determine what is to 
go into this "testimony"? It would of necessity 
be determined by a congress of denominations. 



THEORIES PROPOSED. 



53 



Is it probable that Baptists would admit into 
such " testimony" the right of infant baptism ? If 
not, would the Presbyterian family of churches 
yield? Is it probable that the Methodist family 
would admit the doctrine of a definite atonement? 
What would the congress of churches do again? 
Is it to be supposed that the Presbyterian, Meth- 
odist, Lutheran, Baptist Churches would admit 
into that " testimony " the duty of singing God's 
songs only, in worship ? Would United Presby- 
terians and Covenanters yield ? Would the 
"testimony" against secrect societies be admit- 
ted ? Would Covenanters yield for the sake of 
union ? Would belief of the Covenanter Church, 
in the matter of dissent and protest against the 
godless constitution of the United States, be per- 
mitted in that "testimony "? In all denomina- 
tions there are devoted Christian men whose 
honesty would not permit them to set forth, as 
the "testimony of the church," that which they 
do not believe. The "testimony of the church " 
could not, therefore, rise higher than the few 
fundamental principles which could be agreed 
upon as the basis of union. 

"If in the interests of comprehension," says 
Dr. Patton, " the work of revision is to go on, 
where will it stop ? Shall we strike out every- 
thing but what is common to evangelical Chris- 
tians ? That seems to be a feasible thing. But 



54 



CHURCH UNION. 



is anybody prepared to state the consensus of 
evangelical doctrine ? Will you widen your 
doctrinal area until the profession of Christian 
faith becomes the only condition of ministerial 
fellowship ? Will you accept, for instance, the 
Apostles' Creed as your ecclesiastical symbol ? 
And what would be the result ? We should gain 
in numbers, but lose in moral power. We 
give up doctrine. What is to save the de- 
nomination from disintegration ? We should 
be no nearer the reunion of Christendom. Epis- 
copacy would still be on our right, Congrega- 
tionalism on our left, and for the sake of a 
Utopian scheme of visible unity, that has no 
support in Scripture and no analogy in experi- 
ence, we should have lost the glorious heritage 
of three hundred years." 

The eminent Doctor goes on to show that com- 
prehension could not stop its minimizing tend- 
ency at the Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer 
and the Ten Commandments. Some would in- 
sist on rejecting one thing, and some another ; 
some inspiration ; some the authority of Script- 
ure, until a veritable Robert Elsmere could be 
licensed and ordained without debate. He then 
adds : u This is not the scheme that any one 
proposes to-day, but this is the logical outcome 
of comprehension. 

" And now I ask, Is it a church like this that is 



THEORIES PROPOSED. 



55 



fit to cope with Romanism ? Can such a church 
prove a breakwater to the floods of infidelity ? 

" Let me not be misunderstood. I believe that 
there is a common work of evangelization in which 
the denominations can co-operate. I believe 
that Christians of different churches should love 
each other more and understand each other bet- 
ter. But the reunion of Christendom, as that 
phrase is commonly understood, I do not 
believe in. [Small capitals ours.] It is quite 
true that the doctrines which Christians hold in 
common are more important than those which 
separate them. But the way to conserve 
that which is common to all, is for each to 
be jealous for the doctrine that is peculiar 
to itself. Defend the outposts if you wish 
to defend the citadel." — Rev. Francis L. Patton, 
D. D. y LL. D. f Pres. of Princeton College. 

Dr. Patton is one of the very best authorities 
in the great Presbyterian Church. His forceful 
words concerning "minimizing" doctrine, giving 
up truth, for the sake of union, the comprehen- 
sionist's tendency toward infidelity, his warning 
to guard the " outposts " if the " citadel " would 
not be finally surrendered, are worthy of the 
most careful consideration. If what he sets 
forth be true, the principle is as applicable to 
the Covenanter Church, and it is urged, by all 
the force of his powerful logic and Scriptural 



CHURCH UNION. 



conclusions, to maintain its doctrine, worship, 
discipline and government in strict and conscien- 
tious integrity. Union cannot be by the surren- 
der of "a jot or tittle" of all that the Lord hath 
spoken. 



CHAPTER V. 

CHURCH UNION CONTINUED. 

THE TRUE BASIS. 

Church union is possible, as the preceding 
chapter would suggest, only on an exhaustive 
publication, declaration and confession of 
truth and duty, as set forth in the Word of 
God. 

The old Scotch standard bearer, who, in his 
enthusiasm, pushed on ahead of the column, was 
ordered to bring the standards back to the regi- 
ment. His heroic spirit was seen in his answer : 
" Bring the regiment up to the standards ! " 
God's standard never retreats. His measuring 
rule is never shortened. Truth once set forth, 
by the teachings of the Spirit in the church, can 
never be put back into the mines from whence 
it was digged. Sections of the church may be- 



THE TRUE BASIS. 



57 



come corrupt, as in the dark ages, but the high- 
est standard of truth yet reached is, at that very 
time, maintained by the Waldensian Church, amid 
the fastnesses of the Alps. It is believed that 
large bodies of the church, since the Ref- 
ormations, have forsaken positions once held 
and truth once believed. But the highest stand- 
ard of truth, reached in Reformation times, is 
witnessed in the Covenanter denomination. No. 
God's standard never retreats. This should be 
taken into consideration in any theory of church 
union. " Bring back the nineteenth century, as 
exemplified in Christian and enlightened nations, 
to the standards of antiquity," says the heathen 
devotee. Impossible ! As well attempt to put 
back Niagara ! That church union is possible 

ONLY ON AN EXHAUSTIVE PUBLICATION, DECLARA- 
TION AND CONFESSION OF TRUTH AND DUTY, ASSET 

forth in the Word of God, is believed for 
these reasons : 

ist. From the apparent providential indications, 
as witnesseth the growth of doctrine, that God 
has in view the full exhibition of the 7'iches of His 
Word ; and that holding these truths in the 
profession, confession and practice of the 
church, as the Spirit reveals them, is the means 
to this end. The great truths of the Godhead and 
of redemption, of heaven and of hell, the 
punishment of sin and forgiveness through 



CHURCH UNION. 



Christ, the administration of the Covenant un- 
der the Old Testament, and under the New, 
Christ's offices of Prophet, Priest and King, 
the application of doctrine to conduct, etc. — these 
have been fields of controversy in which the 
battle fiercely raged. But there has been con- 
tinual progress. Along this line of development 
of doctrine and duty the denominations are 
scattered just as the nations are scattered along 
the line of progressive civilization. Some more, 
some less advanced. Providential indications 
point to the civilization and enlightenment of 
all the nations of the world, and up to the high- 
est standard. Thus it is with the truth of God. 
From what has taken place in the past there is 
every reason to believe that God means " to 
bring the church up to the standard " of truth 
revealed. And more: That He will continue to ex- 
hibit truths revealed, but yet unlearned, until there 
has been the fullest glory to God's wisdom, in 
this department, on earth. This being admitted, 
what is the church's duty in the premises ? 
Surely this, to follow the leadings of God's 
Spirit ; to accept truth at His hands ; to build 
it into the church's standards, and to require its 
public profession and confession by the disci- 
ples of Christ. For the church to thus espouse 
the truth, preach it, labor for it, profess it, prac- 
tice it, is the only means known to the writer 



THE TRUE BASIS. 



59 



to spread the truth. This effectually does it. 
There were persecutions, but " they continued 
steadfastly in the Apostles' doctrine." When 
Vicksburgh was captured, the Confederate flag 
floated from the top of the highest church steeple 
in the city. Presently a Union soldier was 
seen ascending with the stars and stripes. He 
nailed on cleet after cleet until he reached the 
dizzy height, and tearing away the emblem of 
rebellion, he flung to the breeze the flag of our 
country ! He reached that height by going up 
step after step, nailed fast. Thus the standard 
of Christ goes up as the truth of God is laid in 
profession and practice in the walls of Zion, 
cemented, if necessary, with the blood of the 
saints. 

If God, therefore, means to thus display His 
truth, and if the means to this end is to put the 
truth in the church's standards, it is manifest 
that church union may not be expected on 
compromise measures. It can be but on the 
fullest expression, avowal, and entering into cov- 
enant with the whole truth as it is in Jesus. We 
put it stronger thus : To abandon a truth, in 
confession or practice, is a step in opposition to 
church union. It is tearing down, not building 
up ; pointing backward, not forward ; away 
from Christ instead of to Him. If there be 
one consideration, above another, which should 



6o 



CHURCH UNION. 



eloquently appeal to Covenanters to stand 
by their profession and practice, it is that just 
stated. There is wrapped in it the interests of 
generations to come, and the spread of the glory 
of the Redeemer's name. 

2d. Without such exhaustive publication, 
declaration and confession of truth and duty as 
set forth in the Word of God, union in sentiment 
or worship is impossible. This is so manifest that 
it needs but brief illustration. In a town of one 
thousand people there are congregations of 
Methodists, Lutherans, Baptists, Presbyterians, 
United Presbyterians and Covenanters. Sup- 
pose that union, on other basis than that main- 
tained as the only one, in this discussion, be tried. 
Suppose that these congregations would number 
six hundred, all told. The order passes along the 
line that all these" branches of the church have 
united and will meet for worship in the largest 
church building. If a Presbyterian wants his 
child baptized, and the minister happens to be a 
Baptist, what shall be done ? In another town a 
Lutheran minister is the pastor. On communion 
day he preaches " transubstantiation " — that the 
bread and wine are converted into the real body 
and blood of Christ. What shall be done about 
it ? In another town a Presbyterian is minister. 
He gives out hymns, but the United Presby- 
terian and Covenanter believe that to be wrong, 



THE TRUE BASIS. 



61 



What shall they do ? Forever give up singing 
in the House of God ? They must, or go 
and worship to themselves. In another town 
a United Presbyterian is minister. He preaches 
the duty of becoming citizens and swearing 
allegiance to the constitution and voting for 
officers, though the constitution does not own 
the Most High. What will the Covenant- 
ers do ? Will they give up that truth ? Will 
they raise their children in such spiritual sur- 
roundings ? It is plain to any one who wishes 
to look at the matter sensibly that these people 
could not worship together. It is not to be sup- 
posed that conscientious men will do violence to 
their conscience in this way. Enthusiasts on 
union might, for they are, for the most part, of 
elastic material. But men who fear God, and 
who feel the duty of maintaining the truth, and 
having it preached, in its purity, would not. 
Look at the situation from another point of 
view. Suppose a Covenanter was the preacher 
of the supposed congregation. Would he be 
allowed to preach the truth as held by the Cov- 
enanter Church as to purity of worship ? As to 
dissent from government, etc.? Would he be per- 
mitted to go into homes and instruct the children 
in these ? Is it not manifest that church union 
on this basis is visionary ? It looks in the 
wrong direction. It ministers to evil and error. 



62 



CHURCH UNION. 



It is on a plane away down. Let it be dismissed. 
A plan of church union, capable of being exe- 
cuted is diametrically opposed to compromise. 
When the great congregation goes out to worship 
God, like Israel going out of Egypt, " not a hoof 
must be left behind" of truth and duty. 

In fine : If the conclusions arrived at in the 
preceding discussions be correct : 

ist. There are no true indications of church 
union at present. 

2d. The plane of church union is up, not 
down, and is, perhaps, not yet reached by the 
most advanced denomination. 

3d. The Covenanter denomination is in the 
line of duty when it strictly maintains the truth 
revealed by the Spirit and set forth in its stand- 
ards. 

4th. To so maintain the truth in profession, 
confession and practice is working for, and is lead- 
ing on and up to, church union. 



THE WITNESSING CHURCH AND OPEN PULPITS. 63 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE WITNESSING CHURCH AND "OPEN 
PULPITS." 

These are strange times. The Congregationalist 
is settled over a Presbyterian congregation. A 
Presbyterian is settled over a Congregational 
charge. Methodists and Presbyterians and 
United Presbyterians exchange pulpits. All 
meet together in union services. There was a 
time when these things were not, but they are 
now, and common. These also commune to- 
gether, excepting possibly the last-named church. 
It must be admitted that these denominations 
have among themselves almost destroyed denom- 
inational lines. They have made them so indis- 
tinct that they are practically zero. Further- 
more, it must be admitted that they have lost 
all influence upon each other. They have no 
purifying power among themselves. They con- 
taminate each other with doctrinal corruption, 
and reduce themselves to a common level, and 
that, the level of the lowest. Nor can they lift 
converts to a higher standard than the lowest 
positions occupied by any of these churches. 



64 



THE WITNESSING CHURCH 



They have, therefore, lost much and gained noth- 
ing. That these by " open pulpits " exhibit a 
greater love than others, is denied. That they 
show less love is affirmed. 

THe Witnessing Church has a history in the 
matter of " open pulpits." It commenced in 
Scotland, when men's souls were tried for the 
truth. They stood like the rock when others 
forsook the truth. They solemnly called upon 
these brethren to return to the " truth as it is in 
Jesus." At the same time they testified against 
them, and held them " to be covenant breakers." 
In this land the same high position was held, is 
held, and will continue to be held by the Wit- 
nessing Church. God will not permit* it to be 
given up, for it guards purity of doctrine, 
strengthens the foundations of the truth, but- 
tresses the citadel against error, and holds before 
the world a higher position, whose honors can- 
not be stolen, while its doctrines are rejected. 

The Synod of 1877 had before them three 
memorials from these sessions: Second New 
York, Fourth New York, and Coldenham, all on 
the subject of " interchange of pulpits." These 
memorials, although not printed, were, it is be- 
lieved, addressed to Synod in the interests of the 
historic position of the church, which is — no inter- 
change. They were called out by transgression. 
The special committee to consider and report 



AND OPEN PULPITS. 



65 



on these memorials consisted of Dr. J. R. W. 
Sloane, Dr. Thomas Sproull, Dr. H. P. McClurkin, 
with Elders Kirkpatrick and Lamont. This 
committee will be recognized as exceptionally 
strong. The following is their report, and which 
was adopted by Synod : 

" The special committee to which were re- 
ferred certain petitions relating to inviting 
clergymen of other denominations to minister 
to our people in the preaching of the Word, re- 
port : 

"I. That, while desiring to cultivate and cher- 
ish the most friendly and fraternal relations 
with our brethren of other evangelical denomina- 
tions, it has never been the custom of the church to 
invite them to minister to our people in the 
preaching of the Word. [Italics ours.'] 

"II. That we see no good reason, in the present 
condition of the visible church of Christ, for 
departing from existing usage." 

In this two things are clearly set forth : 1st. 
" It has never been the custom of the church " 
to invite clergymen of other denominations to 
preach in Covenanter pulpits. 2d. That in the 
judgment of the committee, and of Synod, there 
is no good reason for doing so now. The first 
carries with it the cumulative force of the posi- 
tion of the church in all its past history. This 
is no small matter. Indeed, it is of such import- 



66 



THE WITNESSING CHURCH 



ance that it may be a question of ecclesiastical 
law whether Synod has the power to effect a 
change, but by overture. The second calls atten- 
tion to the visible body of Christ, and says : " We 
see no good reason for departing from existing 
usage." There were bad reasons quite enough, but 
no good ones. This is a broad statement. We are 
glad to know that the committee who formulated 
and presented the report, and which Synod 
adopted, were men in whom there is confi- 
dence, who could not be imposed upon, and who 
would not impose upon others, who would not 
make a report not agreeable to the facts. 

The past history of the church, therefore, and 
up to the present hour, is clear as mathematical 
demonstration. There are no deliverances of 
doubtful interpretation. The line of battle is 
strong and clearly defined. For the denomina- 
tion to " change front" on the question of 
" interchange of pulpits " is a matter, therefore, 
of serious consideration, since it would be the 
forsaking of a position held from the Reforma- 
tion to the present hour. 

But a resolution is now on Synod's table look- 
ing to the overthrow of this time-honored and 
Scriptural position. The resolution reads : 

"Resolved, That our ministers be permitted to 
extend invitations to ministers of other evangeli- 
cal denominations to occupy our pulpits, where 



AND OPEN PULPITS. 



67 



they are known to be in sympathy with our 
movements on reform." 

This resolution, as congressmen would say, has 
a " rider." It means simply interchange of pul- 
pits, in the broadest sense. But it seeks favor, 
and tries to disarm criticism by the added 
clause : " Where they are known to be in sym- 
pathy with our movements on reform." 

Shall Christians, Baptists, Methodists, Luther- 
ans, Presbyterians, United Brethren, etc., be 
invited to " occupy our pulpits"? That is the 
question. Shall the policy of the church be 
changed ? Shall the historic position be given 
up ? The following considerations are pre- 
sented : 

I. // would discrown the denomination as the Wit- 
nessing Church. 

Covenanters witness against " the corrupt con- 
stitutions of both church and state." They 
witness against all who partake in these corrup- 
tions. They separate from a corrupt state and 
from a corrupt church. The standing declara- 
tion in the testimony is, " We condemn the fol- 
lowing errors and testify against all who main- 
tain them." Shall those against whom "we 
testify," and who hold " errors condemned," be 
invited to administer the ordinances ? If so, 
it is a surrender to these errors, and those 
parts of the testimony should be stricken out; 



68 



THE WITNESSING CHURCH 



for Synod puts teachers in the pulpit who reject, 
and who are known to reject, the truth. It would, 
in the eyes of all Christendom, reduce the Wit- 
nessing Church to the common level. 

II. Interchange of pulpits brings all, finally, to the 
same level. 

Those churches which have had interchange 
of pulpits for a generation are now on practi- 
cally the same level. Presbyterians are begin- 
ning to feel that their Calvinism is too strong. 
They want rid of it. There is a common level 
in practice. It matters little what you believe 
or what you do not believe in any of these 
churches. Other results could not be expected. 
If they were becoming stronger in doctrine, 
purer in worship, the resolution on Synod's 
table might have a stronger plea. But what is 
the situation ? When the United Presbyterians 
are corrupting their worship; when Presbyterians 
have thrown the confession into the crucible; 
when the standard everywhere is being let 
down, a resolution to allow them to administer 
the ordinances is introduced ! At the time when 
God and the interests of humanity ask for the 
most faithful testimony, when the retrograding 
churches need to be shown their errors, there 
arise those who say, " the times demand that 

THE STANDARD BE LOWERED ! " Is this the Way 

to bring those churches up ? Is it the way to 



AND OPEN PULPITS. 



6 9 



reform ? There is a feeling every now and 
then expressed that the reforms are just ready 
to be crowned with success. It would appear 
that this feeling is produced more by the 
way things are looked at now. Something like 
Pope says of vice seen too oft, " we first pity, 
then endure, then embrace." The supposed suc- 
cess results more from change in the reformers 
than in the thing to be reformed. These efforts 
to lower the standards are witnesses whose testi- 
mony is not easily impeached. 

Furthermore, for a Covenanter congregation 
to have the ordinances administered by a 
United Brethren, a Presbyterian, a Methodist, a 
Lutheran, strikes their distinctive principles a 
terrible blow. Not an offensive word may be 
spoken, but the moral effect is the same. The 
bayonet is seldom used in war, but its moral 
effect is an ever-present power. 

III. Ministers of other denominations should 
not be allowed to administer the ordinances in 
Covenanter pulpits because they are tinder informal 
suspension. 

A minister in the Reformed Presbyterian 
Church, voting, holding office, using hymns or 
instrumental music in worship, joining a secret 
society, etc., is immediately, on proof thereof, 
suspended by the Presbytery. He is not al- 
lowed to minister to the congregations of 



7° 



THE WITNESSING CHURCH 



the church. He is not allowed to commune. 
Suppose that a minister thus under suspen- 
sion should go to, and be received by, some 
other denomination, which would not recog- 
nize the right of suspension under the cir- 
cumstances, and which would admit him, though 
a letter of standing stated that he is under sus- 
pension. That minister could, through interchange 
of pulpits, come again into the pulpits of the de- 
nomination and minister to the people. But this 
minister, having voted, joined secret societies, 
etc., is doing what Baptists, Presbyterians, Meth- 
odists, Lutherans, etc., do. They are, therefore, 
informally suspended. To admit ministers 
of other denominations to pulpits is to have 
the ordinances administered by those under 
discipline. This defeats the objects of disci- 
pline in Christ's house. If a Covenanter minis- 
ter is suspended, he should remain under that 
suspension, so far as the denomination is con- 
cerned, until it is removed by the proper court. 
If he is not allowed to minister to Covenanter 
congregations while under suspension, simply 
because he declines the jurisdiction of the court 
by going elsewhere, should not entitle him to do 
so. This is both common sense and ecclesiasti- 
cal law. (See Case Hetherington's His. of Ch. of 
Scot., pp. 433~ 6 -) 

But if it be right to say that he shall not 



AND OPEN PULPITS. 



71 



administer the ordinances because he has violated 
the principles of the church, it would be wrong 
to admit other ministers who do exactly the 
same thing. He is under formal, they informal, 
suspension. The one is not entitled to more 
privileges than the other. To admit either is to 
agree that the authority which Christ solemnly 
committed to His church has been improperly 
used; or, having been properly used, it can be 
made a mockery. 

What saith the Scriptures ? "Withdraw your- 
selves from every brother that walketh disor- 
derly." The Covenanter Church has solemnly 
done so in the matter of instrumental music, 
hymn singing, swearing allegiance to the consti- 
tution, secret societies, etc. While they continue 
to " walk disorderly," shall they be given the 
close, official fellowship of the pulpit? " We have 
not so learned Christ." 

IV. The formula of queries, put to the 
Covenanter minister at his ordination, and 
which he is required to publicly accept and sign in 
constituted court, make it profoundly inconsistent 
to admit ministers, who decline to accept these, 
to preach the Word in the pulpits of the denomi- 
nation. These queries are for the special purpose 
of strictly guarding the purity of God's house. 
They are exceptionally strong, clear and right- 
eous. If, at ordination, a minister in the Coven- 



72 



THE WITNESSING CHURCH 



anter body refused to accept them, and bind him- 
self by them, he would not be ordained by the 
church court, nor would he be permitted to 
preach in the pulpits of the denomination. 
Shall a premium be put on belonging to other 
denominations? Shall privileges be granted 
them which are denied those within the fold ? 
Shall our ministers be bound to preach pure doc- 
trine ; in the presence of Christ in His consti- 
tuted court be required to say so and sign the public 
guarantee j and then those who publicly profess 
doctrines directly subversive to the principles 
and practices of the church be invited to minis- 
ter in the preaching of the Word ? 

If, twelve years ago, there was "no good rea- 
son" that the historic position of the denomina- 
tion be forsaken, in this matter, there would 
appear to have arisen no good reason since. On 
the other hand, these days of liberal thinking 
and latitudinarian views, when the church is 
gradually drifting away from the old landmarks, 
when the English Presbyterian, the Scotch Unit- 
ed Presbyterian, the Free Church and the Pres- 
byterian Church in this land, are forsaking and 
casting down the attainments of the Reforma- 
tion, when the United Presbyterian Church has 
corrupted and is corrupting its worship by the 
introduction of instrumental music, when the 
practices of Christian people in the keeping of 



AND OPEN PULPITS. 



73 



God's commands were never more corrupt since 
the Reformation than now, when all forms of 
heresy and practices are sheltered in the visible 
church; these are not the times to throw open 
the pulpits of the church of the Covenants, but 
to make the marks of separation more distinct, 
and to bear the most faithful testimony to 
doctrine, worship, discipline and government, as 
established by the Lord Jesus Christ. 

The words of Dr. S. O. Wylie, whose conclu- 
sions were never hasty, but reached through con- 
scientious and thorough investigation, are of 
special value on this question. In a discussion 
of " Interchange of Pulpits," in the October num- 
ber Ref. Pres. and Cov., 1877, he closes thus: 

" We add as an expression of profound con- 
viction that if the Reformed Presbyterian Church 
exists at all, she must exist as she has hitherto done 
— a public witness against corrupt constitutions in 
both church and state, and refusing the fellowship 
of approval to the one the same as to the other. 
She has no right to exist unless she does so, for the 
reason that she is without a mission as a separate 
organization. Something has been said by those 
who are seeking to justify the new departure 
about all holding on to and being of one mind 
in regard to the great principles of the church, as 
if it was not as much a great principle of the Cov- 
enanting Church to maintain a position of dis- 



74 IS THE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN 



sent from an unscripturally organized church as 
from an unscripturally organized state. The 
principle which covers both cases is the same, 
and of short time, too, when the practice will 
assimilate on both points, or else history is a 
falsehood, and observation and experience in 
connection with both past and present are wholly 
unreliable guides." 



CHAPTER VII. 

i 

IS THE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN 
CHURCH AN EVANGELISTIC 
CHURCH ? 

If the Reformed Presbyterian Church can go 
into a union only on the fullest presentation and 
acceptance of the truth, and as there is but little 
hope of union on such basis at the present, the 
question becomes as interesting as it is import- 
ant, Is the Covenanter Church evangelistic? If 
not, it should cease to exist; if it is, it should 
strictly and conscientiously maintain its organi- 
zation, and push the work of God with all its 
energies and resources. It should, in these 
" perilous times," plead with God for a larger 



CHURCH AN EVANGELISTIC CHURCH ? 75 



baptism of the Holy Ghost. It should " attempt 
great things for God, and should expect great 
things of God." 

Substituting Webster's definition for evangel- 
istic, the question maybe stated, Is the Covenant- 
er Church designed or fitted to instruct in the 
Gospel; to preach Christ; to convert to a belief 
of the Gospel ? 

This suggests two things: First, Is the Cove- 
nanter Church equipped for the work ? Second, 
Does the Covenanter Church do this work ? 

There are three things necessary to the condi- 
tions of the first: The Commission; The Message; 
The Spirit. If these are found, the church is 
equipped for the work. An extended discussion 
of these three, in this connection, is unnecessary. 
A statement will be found sufficient. 

1st. The Commission. The branch of the church 
to which the denomination under consideration 
belongs, reaches back to the Reformations, and 
has its roots firmly imbedded in the Covenants. It 
has an unbroken line. Others are off-shoots of 
later times. If any of the many denominations 
can claim the " commission/' the Covenanter 
Church can. 

2d. The Message. The message which this 
denomination carries is as broad and deep and 
high as the Word of God. It is the same mes- 
sage and Word preached by Luther, Calvin and 



7 6 



IS THE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN 



Knox, as they grappled with the errors and 
immoral institutions and spiritual wickedness 
of those times. It is the same Gospel preached 
by the Apostles as they went forth, single hand- 
ed, to the heart of idolatry and superstition. It 
is the same Gospel preached by Christ Himself in 
the years of His minsitry, and spoken through 
inspired men in after years. It is this Gospel 
which the Covenanter Church witnesses to and 
proclaims. It will be admitted that the truth is 
held more consistently, preached more conscien- 
tiously, and fully, than by sister denominations. 
It holds its members to a more conscientious re- 
gard for truth and duty. It insists upon lines of 
conduct, believed to be Scriptural and required, 
but rejected by other denominations. It main- 
tains the ordinances in their apostolic purity. 
The Reformed Presbyterian Church yields to no 
denomination in the determination to proclaim 
the whole Gospel of the Son of God. 

3d. The Spirit. Has the Covenanter Church 
the Spirit ? If not, it has lost it since the Refor- 
mations, for it had the Spirit then. By whose 
power were those mighty works accomplished ? 
Whose might spiritually revolutionized Scotland ? 
The little band of reformers, what were they 
among so many ? The conventicles hidden away 
in the mountains, what could they do ? It was 
the Spirit working through the Word which did 



CHURCH AN EVANGELISTIC CHURCH? 77 



those mighty works. The same Spirit that raised 
Lazarus, and overturned Rome-Pagan. The over- 
throw of the spiritual despotism fastened upon 
Scotland required Almighty power. It was given, 
and through the Covenants. But has the Spirit 
been lost since ? Has God left the Covenanter 
Church? Has He ceased to bless it and its 
work ? We unhesitatingly answer, No. We put 
it stronger. For it is believed that there is 
special manifestation of the Spirit's presence in 
the Covenanter Church in that there is, in this 
denomination, a greater number of saints, accord- 
ing to the membership, than in others. This is 
our conviction after years of observation. These 
things testify to the presence of the Head of the 
church. The denomination is, therefore, girded 
with the armor of God for the work of evangeli- 
zation. 

II. Is Evangelistic Work Done ? The denomi- 
nation may be designed and fitted to instruct in 
the Gospel, but does it instruct ? It may be 
designed to convert, but does it convert ? Is the 
Reformed Presbyterian Church doing evangelis- 
tic work ? It is necessary that there should be 
clear thinking here. According to Webster's 
definition of " evangelistic," churches which 
preach the truth and regularly maintain the 
ordinances, and bring souls into the kingdom, 
are evangelistic. From this point of view, all the 



78 IS THE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN 



congregations in the denomination are doing 
evangelistic work. And the fact that a new- 
congregation is built up every thirty-three years 
(a generation) and that this process has been 
going on for seventy-five or an hundred years, 
where congregations have been established so 
long, shows that the denomination has been suc- 
cessful in doing the work designed. More still; 
the number of congregations now, as compared 
with fifty years ago, shows that the denomination 
has had a healthy and strong growth. New con- 
gregations have been formed all along the line. 
If even the Reformed Presbyterian Church could 
keep up this pace as in the last fifty years, it 
would be only a question of time until the world 
would be converted, and not so long a time as 
might at first be supposed. The training of these 
souls and generations for heaven, converting 
them through the Gospel, sanctifying them 
through the Truth, causing them, in turn, to 
take up the burdens laid down by others, mar- 
shaling them in the army of the Son of God, this 
is a work of vast importance and attended by 
everlasting results. It testifies that the denomi- 
nation is doing the work designed. 

But look at what is being done outside of con- 
gregations, and beyond their reach. As a basis 
to all work, there must be contributions. Noth- 
ing can be done without money. The amount 



CHURCH AN EVANGELISTIC CHURCH ? 79 

of money contributed is a good measure 
of work done. Among the denominations, not 
one in the matter of contributions, so far as 
learned, stands up with the Reformed Presbyte- 
rian Church, which gives $19.75 per member. 
With this presumption in favor of the church 
under consideration, look at the field of opera- 
tions. Through this the evangelistic work of the 
church is seen. 

In the Foreign field, it is no longer a question 
of opportunity, but the number of men the church 
can send. The open doors and the Macedonian 
cry have become the astonishment of even the 
missionaries themselves. A good, honest look at 
the churches, mission and preaching stations and 
schools in Syria and Asia Minor, should revive 
the drooping spirits of those who think the Cove- 
nanter Church is not designed to convert and is 
not converting ! In a most bigoted nation, and 
in the face of the most determined opposition, 
these results have been achieved. In the Latakia 
Mission, they have 186 native members. They 
had an increase of 37 communicants last year. 
How many congregations at home can report a 
like increase, and with a nominally Christian 
community all around them ? They have 25 
schools in that district. They have 735 pupils. 
They have 18 Sabbath-schools with an aggregate 
of 643 scholars. The Mersine district, although 



8o IS THE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN 



occupied but a few years, can give figures equally 
favorable for length of time. God is blessing 
the work. 

With change of name, like things can be said 
of the Southern mission. Half a dozen ministers 
could be placed in most advantageous positions, 
with most encouraging surroundings, and with 
most promising outlook. The prayer of the work- 
ers is, " Give us more men." They want more 
reapers, for the harvest is ripe. A congregation 
of fourscore, grown out of nothing, in a few 
years ! And by converting a people whose strong 
inclination would be to reject truth which they 
have espoused ! That a congregation of eighty 
can be gathered in fifteen years, and be held to 
their duty amid all the political excitement of 
the times, is remarkable ! It establishes the 
proposition under discussion in these pages. 
" What need of further witness ?" But no doubt 
some who wish to throw off the distinctive prin- 
ciples, under cover that we can't evangelize, 
holding them, will say, " Yes, but they are only 
colored people ! " Very true ; and it is only white 
people who, having been raised under the most 
favorable circumstances, reject such plain evi- 
dence. 

Take a hasty glance at the mission among the 
Chinese, and the mission among the Indians. 
The tide is against the former, in that they have 



CHURCH AN EVANGELISTIC CHURCH ? 8l 



to do with a people without a fixed habitation. 
But, with this discouraging feature, there is 
marked progress in winning souls. Every now 
and then, a Mongolian, whose ancestors for an 
hundred generations licked the dust of idola- 
trous superstition, and rendered unquestioned 
devotion to their senseless rites, turns his back 
forever upon idols, and seeks baptism, repent- 
ance and forgiveness through the blood of the Son 
of God. What cause for thanksgiving ! Let God 
be praised, blessed be His glorious name ! 

The Indian Mission, so lately located, has 
had, as yet, no opportunity to reap. But the 
devoted missionary and his no less devoted wife 
to this great cause, have already fringed with 
gold the dark picture of Indian degradation. 
There is most encouraging and promising out- 
look. The obligation to the Red man resting on 
the Covernanter Church is beginning to be dis- 
charged. May God smile upon the auspicious 
beginnings and forward the Gospel among the 
Aborigines of America ! 

Once more : look at national reform work 
pushed so energetically by the Covenanter 
Church. Look at the Secretaries in their inde- 
fatigable labors. Look at the doors wide open 
and the willing ears to hear. What denomina- 
tion is evangelizing the nation with the great 
truths of Christ's mediatorial dominion, spend- 



82 IS THE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN 



ing men and money, as is the Reformed Presby- 
terian ? The burden of that work still rests upon 
the church under consideration. The great pro- 
portion of the money comes from it. It contrib- 
utes the necessary zeal. It has faith in the right- 
eous cause. 

Of this work we say two things : ist. No de- 
nomination is evangelizing the nation with these 
truths as is the Covenanter. It began and car- 
ries forward the work. 2d. The life of that work 
depends upon the continued existence of the 
Reformed Presbyterian Church. Whatever 
tends to destroy faith in the distinctive position 
of the denomination in reference to govern- 
ments which reject God and disown His law, 
tends to eventually stop the work of national 
reform. If the denomination's work outside of 
its congregations was confined to this one effort, 
the enthroning of Christ and His law in this na- 
tion, there would still be no denomination doing 
more efficient and necessary evangelistic work. 

In fine (for we cannot notice particulars far- 
ther) look at the Sabbath-school work of the 
denomination. It is as efficient and successful as 
in any. Look at the schools in connection with 
congregations. Look at the number of mission 
schools sustained by congregations. Look at the 
preaching in connection with these. We are 
prepared to say that the Reformed Presbyterian 



CHURCH AN EVANGELISTIC CHURCH ? 83 



Church has as efficient Sabbath-schools, with as 
large per cent, of mission scholars, as sister de- 
nominations ; probably more. These schools do 
good work and bring many into the church. 
Mind comes in contact with mind. Thought 
and life are moulded. Souls are saved. This 
department of church work is practically without 
limitation. And any failure to improve the op- 
portunity is the fault of the workers, which 
would follow them into whatsoever denomina- 
tion. 

The suggestions made on the various lines 
through which the operations of the church are 
conducted, remove all reasonable doubts, and 
put the question beyond successful contradic- 
tion, that the Reformed Presbyterian Church is 
an evangelistic church. There are more doors 
than can be entered ; more calls than can be 
answered. The three thousand who stepped out 
in '33 were converted through the instrumental- 
ity of the Covenanter Church. In the following 
generation, the denomination was the instrument 
in converting three thousand to make up this 
loss, and three thousand more to replace the 
dead. Here is a net gain of an hundred per 
cent, in a generation. The dropping away to 
sister denominations during the years does not 
argue against the converting power. None more 
quickly than those who have made their spirit- 



84 IS THE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN 



ual home elsewhere, would resent the implication 
that they were not converted. But, if converted, 
it was through the instrumentality of the mother 
church. They should, therefore, deal very 
kindly with the denomination which God hon- 
ored in rescuing them from the pit. 

A brother whose long acquaintance with the 
field entitles his opinion to consideration said, in 
substance, that if all the Covenanters had re- 
mained in the church, in New York City, there 
would be seven large congregations. This is 
probably true. And it shows that God blesses 
the denomination as a converting instrument. 
Why these leave and go elsewhere, after being 
born into the kingdom, is another question which 
will come up for solution farther on. 

If there be no difficulties with which to con- 
tend but those without, no hindrances to meet 
but those which the unconverted present, the de- 
nomination has great reason, standing in the 
midst of such blessed opportunities and with 
such evidence, up to the present, of God's favor, 
to go joyfully forward, with ever abounding 
faith. 

But just here we meet the movement popularly 
known as " evangelistic work " in the churches at 
the present day : and it is quickly asked, " Does 
our church do this work ? " In the first place, let 
me say, these popular evangelistic movements 



CHURCH AN EVANGELISTIC CHURCH ? 85 

are not the solid, lasting work of the church. 
The lasting work is found in the lines mentioned 
above. These are the deep, quiet stream, which 
bears on its bosom the great multitude of souls 
to the throne of God. And when you find any- 
body condemning as too slow and out of date 
these tried and useful and successful methods, 
you may be sure he is taking to shallow water. 
Enthusiastic admirers of new and gushing meth- 
ods (they should read an article contributed to 
the Interior, by Rev. Geo. P. Hays, on this sub- 
ject) sometimes lay the blame of partial failure 
on the truth the church holds, or our manner of 
worship. At the last Synod, the version of the 
Psalms which had sung seven generations of the 
best saints the world has seen, to heaven, was 
held up and spoken of as a hindrance. Alas 
for such superficial views ! But what is known 
as popular evangelistic services have their place 
in the Covenanter Church, and probably quite as 
extensively, in proportion to the membership, as 
in sister denominations. Souls are undoubtedly 
reached through these. What we do object to 
is that truth held since the Covenants, and 
wrought into the life of the church by persecu- 
tion to the death, and which has been the bul- 
wark of religious liberty from that day to this, 
should now be condemned by popular move- 
ments of the last few years, and be asked to retire 



86 



IS THE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN 



as a hindrance to the growth of the denomina- 
tion. 

There can be no possible conflict between the 
truth as it is in Jesus and evangelistic work con- 
ducted on right principles. And when it is de- 
clared or insinuated that principles of God's Word 
do hinder, it goes without the proving that the 
hindrance comes from the human elements 
which have crept in. It is necessary that these 
things be said in order to a correct understand- 
ing of what true evangelistic work is. It is 
" preaching the preaching that I bid thee." It is 
declaring the whole counsel of God. It is not 
only offering salvation through Christ's blood, 
but it contemplates the setting forth of duty in 
its length and breadth. It means to hold up 
Christ as Prophet, Priest and King. It is going 
to the people with this message wherever they 
can be found. 

This the Covenanter Church has been doing 
through all its history. Preaching in moor and 
glen and mountain, in the streets of cities, in the 
squares of villages ; often the meetings scattered 
by a merciless soldiery while the unfortunate 
prisoners were brutally put to death ; this is the 
early history of the Reformed Presbyterian 
Church. In this land, the fathers are not yet all 
gone who rode through State after State, and in 
school-houses, in groves, in cabins, in barns, 



CHURCH AN EVANGELISTIC CHURCH ? 87 



wherever the people could meet, they preached 
the Gospel of the Son of God. This was true 
evangelistic work. It was blessed of the Holy 
Ghost. In the somewhat new form of evangelis- 
tic services of these days, the denomination is 
endeavoring to reap all it can through them. 
They are being tried everywhere the people de- 
sire to do so. They have been in many cases, 
where rightly conducted, productive of much 
good, to those within, to those without. May the 
Master continue to bless every proper means, and 
direct to ones still more efficient, until " He shall 
come down like rain upon the mown grass ; un- 
til He shall have dominion from sea to sea, and 
from the rivers unto the end of the earth ; until 
they that dwell in the wilderness bow before 
Him, and His enemies lick the dust." But it is 
in place here to say that we have no sympathy 
with means often used "to draw" to evangelistic 
services. These proceed on the theory, " Get the 
people there by any means, then do them good." 
So the Sabbath is desecrated by the drum and 
the horn, stereopticon views, an amusing pro- 
gramme, etc., all intended to " draw." There is 
but one way to " draw " to Christ. It is not 
" flowers around the pulpit or in the sermon " 
(so says Dr. Hall); it is not attractive music, nor 
anything that entertains. As true as the truth of 
God, it is in this, "And I, if I be lifted up, will 



88 



GROWTH OF THE DENOMINATION. 



draw." That is plain. The extent, " all men 
unto me." " O Zion, that bringest good tidings, 
get thee up into the high mountain ; O Jerusa- 
lem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice 
with strength ; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto 
the cities of Judah, Behold your God!" (Is : xl: 9.) 



CHAPTER VIII. 

GROWTH OF THE DENOMINATION : 
HINDRANCES. 

With the evangelistic spirit more intense during 
the last ten years than at any time since the divi- 
sion of '33, why has the per cent, of growth de- 
creased ? 

Accurate statistics, earlier than 1859, are not 
at our command. From the division up to this 
date, however, there was a strong, healthy 
growth, probably about an hundred per cent. 
From 1859 to 1869 the denomination increased 
from 5,812 to 8,242 — a net yearly growth of 243. 
From 1869 to 1879, the increase was from 8,242 
to 10,475 — a net yearly growth of 223. From 1879 
to 1888 — nine years — the increase was from 
10,475 to 10,970 — a net yearly growth of 55. 



HINDRANCES. 



8 9 



These statistics present a problem worthy of 
consideration. It is this: With the evangelistic 
spirit more intense during the last decade, why 
has there not been corresponding growth ? 
Why is it that in the decade of intensified evan- 
gelistic zeal, the average yearly growth goes 
down three-fourths, from 223 to 55 ? As we 
said before, true evangelistic spirit has been in 
the denomination all along. But during the 
last decade it has developed. There is some 
little unrest with old and tried and successful 
methods. A few here and there think these too 
slow. They want the sowing and the reaping 
at the same meeting. We would not in anyway 
wish to stifle this intensifying desire to bring 
men and women into the kingdom of Christ. 
The desire is all right. Let it grow until it be- 
comes overpowering ; until the thrice-repeated 
prayer of Knox, " Give me Scotland or I die," be 
your prayer and mine. There are but few 
churches in which special meetings of one form 
or another have not been held. Permanent 
missions are being established where the Gospel 
is preached. This is to be heartily commended. 
May the Lord bless all these efforts put forth to 
the glory of His name. There are times when 
God specially blesses His church, and the Cov- 
enanter Church should now be receiving special 
evidences of God's favor. And since He has 



90 GROWTH OF THE DENOMINATION. 



given the more intense desire to reach soul§, and 
the effort is being made, it is strange that the 
growth has not far outstripped the decades of 
the past. That it should fall three-fourths is 
remarkable. The question is one of serious im- 
portance as its solution is difficult. Shall we go 
on until the principle be established without per- 
adventure that the greater the cry, " We must be 
evangelistic," the less the denomination grows ? 
Rather let the hindrances be sought out and re- 
moved " that the Word of God may have free 
course and be glorified. " 

ist. Let it be said once and for all that the diffi- 
culty is not with true evangelistic spirit. This 
should be cultivated more and more (as above). 

2d. The difficulty is not with the distinctive 
principles of the church. The denomination has 
held these principles since its organization at the 
Reformation. It has held them through all its 
history in this land. When growth was at the 
highest yearly rate, these same principles were 
energetically, courageously and consistently held. 
It is not supposed that any will seek to account 
for the growth then by saying the principles 
were toned down and discipline was carelessly 
enforced. No. Those were days of heroes in 
word and deed, who believed the truth and 
labored to bring men to accept it. They fought 
mightily for God, and their efforts were crowned 



HINDRANCES. 



9 1 



with success. The church grew and multiplied. 
If distinctive principles be a hindrance now, they 
would have been then. The brethren who di- 
vided the church in '33 by cutting away the 
will of God, and substituting the will of the 
people in civil government, thus rejecting one of 
the most important principles of the denomina- 
tion, and one which is supposed by many to hin- 
der, have demonstrated and proved that full 
churches and large increase in membership ex- 
pected have not been realized. They have grown 
but little in the fifty-six years, while the mother 
church has grown from between 3,000 and 4,000 
to about 1 1,000. It is strange this demonstration 
is overlooked or cast aside. God's truth does 
not hinder any more than the seed hinders the 
harvest. It is to be admitted that now and then 
persons are met who say they would join 
were this and that not in the way. But what de- 
nomination has not exactly the same experience ? 
At a meeting in this city a prominent Presbyte- 
rian divine said " their doctrines and bald forms 
were keeping their young men out." Hence the 
effort to change the Confession of Faith. It is 
the same story wherever you go. Our own ex- 
perience is that in the large majority of cases the 
assigned reason is but an excuse, as they do not 
join the denomination which they claim corre- 
sponds to their belief. At all events we could get 



92 GROWTH OF THE DENOMINATION. 



the whole Presbyterian and Methodist Churches, 
were it not for our distinctive principles. But 
that would be no good to them and a harm to 
us. It would not add one to the number of God's 
family, nor make a single soul better. But it 
would take away the power of the truth which 
we, as a denomination, hold. If truth which 
sanctifies hinders, then our principles hinder. If 
it brings souls nearer to God, then our principles 
do not hinder. " In the morning sow thy seed, 
and in the evening withhold not thine hand : for 
thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either 
this or that, or whether they both shall be alike 
good." (Ec: xi: 6.) The theory that any truth 
hinders the work of grace, proceeds from a 
superficial view of conversion. The correct view 
is this as contained in these two passages of 
Scripture: " Go preach the Gospel to every crea- 
ture/' Not part of the Gospel, as blinded human 
intellect may suggest ; but the whole counsel of 
God. This is man's part as an instrument in 
God's hand. He thus speaks by man's mouth. 
To fail, after God has made known the truth, is 
treason against heaven. It is withholding from 
men what God intended they should hear. The 
agent has no such right. It is not for him to sit 
in judgment on the message of the Most High. 
The second passage is God's part in conversion: 
" The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou 



HINDRANCES. 



93 



hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell 
whence it cometh, and whither it goeth ; so is 
every one that is born of the Spirit." It is the 
Spirit that carries conviction and produces con- 
version. The Spirit and the message never come 
in conflict. But through the Spirit, "the Word of 
God is quick and powerful, sharper than any two- 
edged sword; piercing to the dividing asunder of 
soul and spirit, of the joints and marrow, and is 
a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the 
heart." Given: the Spirit quickening a soul into 
life, the truth as held by the church can no more 
hinder that soul from seeking admission to the 
house and family of God, than well prepared 
soil, the gentle rain, the warm sunshine can hin- 
der the life which is springing from the bursting 
seed. These but sustain the life. So truth sus- 
tains the quickened soul. The more truth, the 
stronger is that soul against evil. Covenanters, 
holding more truth, are being sanctified from 
participating in godless civil government ; from 
corruptions of Divine worship ; from the pollu- 
tions of secret oath-bo.und societies, etc. God is 
blessing the very truth, in the sanctification of 
the members of the church, which some would 
have us believe has become a stumbling-block to 
the work of the Spirit in converting men. No, 
the hindrance to the growth of the church, in 
these last years of special evangelistic desire and 



94 GROWTH OF THE DENOMINATION. 



effort, cannot be laid at the feet of Jesus by say- 
ing, " It is His truth !" 

3d. We explain the low rate of growth during 
these years of special evangelistic interest and 
work by the loss of convictions. There is not that 
whole-souled belief in the distinctive principles 
there was a generation ago. There are doubts 
and doubts. Ministers, elders and laymen are 
not so sure. This being true, and which will not 
be questioned, several marked effects follow. 

First : But little effort is put forth to make 
men see and believe these distinctive principles. 
It requires convictions, even in worldly things, 
to produce convictions in others. Times of refor- 
mation have been times of intense convictions. 
Look at Luther as he stood alone with God at 
the ecclesiastical tribunal which claimed the 
power of life and death. His deep convictions 
uttered in those memorable words, " Here I 
stand; I cannot do otherwise; so help me God !" 
were a rock as he breasted the storm of popish 
hatred and opposition. See the power of the 
truth which he, under such convictions, uttered! 
Look at Knox and see on his battle-flag those 
heroic words, " I am in the place where I am 
demanded of conscience to speak the truth, and 
therefore the truth I speak, impugn it whoso 
list." There was whole-souled belief in the truth 
which he proclaimed. See his success ! Look at 



HINDRANCES. 



95 



the Apostles. Thoroughly convinced of the truth 
of their message, proclaim it they would and pro- 
claim it they did, even unto death. What was 
the effect ? This same spirit was caught up by 
their followers all along the line. They stood by 
the truth as a mother overboard clings to her 
babe. Multitudes saw and believed. The Cove- 
nant entered into in Grayfriars' churchyard, 
where the intensity of zeal found expression by 
opening veins and adding the signature with the 
writer's own warm blood, has moved and 
swayed the generations from that day to this. 
But where convictions are wanting, there 
follow opposite results. Disinterestedness is 
fatal to a cause, no matter how good and worthy. 
If we lose interest in the truth which gave us 
birth as a denomination, and which continues 
our separate denominational existence, we will 
speedily become extinct. We believe we say the 
truth when we affirm that, in this day, the distinct- 
ive principles are not graven on the conscience 
as they have been. This is followed by its natural 
result, viz.: diminished effort to make men see 
and believe them. " I went by the field of 
the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void 
of understanding ; and, lo, it was all grown over 
with thorns, and nettles had covered the face 
thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken 
down. Then I saw and considered it well; I 



g6 GROWTH OF THE DENOMINATION. 

looked upon it and received instruction !" (Prov. 
xxiv:3<D.) 

Second : Losing faith in what was once believed, 
reacts on the whole system of grace. It may 
seem a small thing to speak against truth pro- 
fessed and covenanted. But it is as sad as it is 
destructive. Destroy a young man's faith in the 
Word of God as set forth in any truth, and you 
have pierced his soul. You have cut his anchor 
and set him adrift. He may drift into some other 
church. He may drift upon the rocks. More 
probably the latter. By some the distinctive 
principles are neglected as if they were not. By 
others, they are lightly spoken of. By others, 
they are ridiculed. This is hurtful to the grow- 
ing generation. If a general should on the eve of 
battle thus address his soldiers, " Men, your posi- 
tion is bad; your powder is bad; it is a bad cause 
any way, and defeat is sure !" what would be the 
effect on the army ? This well illustrates the con- 
ditions under which the Covenanter Church is 
laboring to-day. Practically, just such addresses 
are being sent all along the line. Is it any won- 
der that the deserters are almost as many as the 
recruits ? No amount of zeal for evangelistic 
work will atone for loss of convictions. Without 
ball, the gun is useless, however heavy the charge 
of powder or loud the roar. 

4th. We explain the low rate of yearly growth, 



HINDRANCES. 



97 



in this decade of special evangelistic interest, by 
the new theories which have been, and are being, 
instilled into the mind of the people of the 
denomination. They can be summed up in one 
sentence, viz.: distinctive principles should not be 
made terms of communion. Sometimes those 
who hold and teach such theories seem to say 
that distinctive principles should be made terms 
of communion for officers only. At other times, 
you would suppose they mean that it is wrong to 
make them terms of communion for anybody. 
We have not, in this connection, to do with these 
new theories further than to show that they hin- 
der the growth of the church, and paralyze the 
special efforts put forth to bring converts into the 
denomination. The brethren who maintain these 
new theories seem to think that these righteous 
distinctive principles are held unrighteously by 
the church, and that requiring them to be accept- 
ed by candidates is unwarranted by Divine 
authority. The denomination is put in some- 
thing of the position in which Moses and Aaron 
were placed when Korah and his company said, 
" Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the con- 
gregation are holy, every one of them, and the 
Lord is among them/' They would explain the 
low rate of yearly increase because the acceptance 
of these principles is required. But forty years 
of splendid growth successfully contradicts the 



98 GROWTH OF THE DENOMINATION. 



explanation. The Gospel and truth of God may 
not be crucified to shield the harmful effects which 
their own mistaken theories are producing. It 
requires nothing more than a fair measure of 
common sense to understand that if a young man, 
who has some notion of connecting, should, by 
unfortunate providence, have his attention called 
to leading articles and editorials in literature 
which has circulation, he would probably decide 
for some other denomination. A young man is 
not so likely to grow into these, and accept them 
in the public profession of Christ,if they are assail- 
ed as unwarrantably exalted, and their profession 
unrighteously required, by those who have been 
standard bearers for years. There are no better 
young men than those reared in Covenanter fami- 
lies. Fostered and nourished, and more than likely 
converted, while in the families of the church, it 
rightly expects their help, and we do most 
earnestly protest against these things which 
divert them into other denominations. What a 
power they would be if all were retained in hon- 
est, fearless profession of the truth which was 
Scotland's freedom and will yet be the liberation 
of the world ! 

More still : Those who are weak in the faith 
in the church are strengthened in that weakness. 
This has two effects: one, they spread a discon- 
tented influence which reacts on the work. An- 



HINDRANCES. 



99 



other, their consciences are eased if they wish to 
leave the denomination. Their Covenant obliga- 
tions are explained away. Thus they are hin- 
dered from coming in, and they are helped to go 
out. Not long since, I heard a brother minister, 
who is laboring efficiently in a congregation of 
about an hundred members, say that he was 
getting along very well until these liberal ideas 
were scattered through his church. Some were 
becoming restive under their influence. We 
maintain, without fear of successful contradic- 
tion, that the new theories which these kind 
brethren are putting forth are suicidal. They 
defeat the very purpose intended, unless that pur- 
pose be to have the denomination absorbed by 
others. We wish no better evidence that this 
will follow than the destructive work of these 
same theories fifty-six years ago. Three thou- 
sand people left the church at one time and un- 
der the influence of just such teaching. That these 
"new light" doctrines, if pushed, will produce 
the same results again is reasonable. We believe, 
therefore, and it is the apology for discussing 
this division of the subject at such length, that 
effort to withstand these detrimental influences 
is not only conserving the best interests of the 
denomination, but looking to the preservation of 
its life. 



IOO THE WITNESSING CHURCH AND 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE WITNESSING CHURCH AND CIVIL 
GOVERNMENT. 

GENERAL PRINCIPLES. 

" By ME KINGS REIGN, AND PRINCES DECREE 
JUSTICE. BY ME PRINCES RULE, AND NOBLES, 
EVEN ALL THE JUDGES OF THE EARTH." (PrOV. viii: 

Let the Son of God be first heard on this sub- 
ject so important, and which so intimately con- 
cerns the glory of His name. These are some of 
His declarations : 

" When thou art come into the land which the 
Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, 
and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a 
king over me, like as all the nations that are round 
about me; Thou shalt in anywise set him king over 
thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose. . . . 
And it shall be when he sitteth upon the throne 
of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of 
this law in a book out of that which is before the 
priests the Levites ; and it shall be with him, and 
he shall read therein all the days of his life; that 
he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all 



CIVIL GOVERNMENT GENERAL PRINCIPLES. IOI 

the words of this law and these statutes to do 
them." (Deut. xvii: 14, 18, 19.) 

"And Jehu, the son of Hanani, the Seer, went 
out to meet him, and said to King Jehoshaphat, 
Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them 
that hate the Lord ? therefore is wrath upon thee 
from before the Lord." (2 Chron. xix: 2.) 

" The God of Israel said, the rock of Israel 
spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be 
just, ruling in the fear of God." (2 Sam. xxiii: 3.) 

" The kings of the earth do set themselves, and 
the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, 
and against his anointed, saying, Let us break 
their bands asunder, and cast away their cords 
from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall 
laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision. . . . 
Thou shalt break them as with a rod of iron ; 
thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's 
vessel. Be wise now, therefore, O ye kings ; be 
instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the 
Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss 
the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the 
way, when his wrath is kindled but a little." (Ps. 

ii-* 2 , 3, 4, 9, IO > XI > I2 

" He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, 
and from the river unto the ends of the earth. 
They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow be- 
fore him, and his enemies shall lick the dust. 
The kings of Tarshish and the isles shall bring 



102 THE WITNESSING CHURCH AND 



presents ; the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer 
gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him; 
all nations shall serve him." (Ps. lxxii: 8, 9, 
10, 11.) 

" In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he 
shall direct thy paths." (Prov. iii: 6.) 

" For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our 
law-giver, the Lord is our King." (Is. xxxiii : 22.) 

" And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and 
their queens thy nursing mothers ; and they shall 
bow down to thee with their faces toward the 
earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet." (Is. 
xlix : 23.) 

" While the word was in the king's mouth, 
there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O King 
Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken : the king- 
dom is departed from thee: and they shall drive 
thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with 
the beasts of the field : and they shall make thee 
to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass 
over thee, until thou know that the Most High 
ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to 
whomsoever he will." (Dan. iv: 31, 32.) 

" All power is given unto me in heaven and in 
earth." (Mat. xxviii: 18.) 

"Let every soul be subject unto the higher 
powers. For there is no power but of God : the 
powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever, 
therefore, resisteth the pow r er, resisteth the ordi- 



CIVIL GOVERNMENT GENERAL PRINCIPLES. IO3 

nance of God, and they that resist shall receive 
to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a 
terror to good works, but to the evil. . .. For he is 
the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou 
do that which is evil, be afraid: for he beareth 
not the sword in vain : for he is the minister of 
God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that 
doeth evil." (Rom. xiii: i, 2, 3, 4.) 

" He raised him from the dead, and set him 
at his own right hand in heavenly places, far 
above all principality, and power, and might, and 
dominion, and every name that is named, not 
only in this world, but also in that which is to 
come, and hath put all things under his feet, 
and gave him to be the head over all things to 
the church." (Eph. i: 20, 21, 22.) 

" The kingdoms of this world are become the 
kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he 
shall reign forever and ever." (Rev. xi: 15.) 

" And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh 
a name written, King of Kings and Lord of 
Lords." (Rev. xix: 16.) 

Thus speaketh the Son of God. These words 
are His words. These declarations are His 
declarations. They converge into a common 
focus, and in that focus is seen the throne of 
Jehovah, with its absolute and universal domin- 
ion. Upon that throne is seen the Covenant 
God. Civil government lies within the limits of 



104 THE WITNESSING CHURCH AND 



this universal dominion. " Thou hast put all 
things in subjection under his feet." (Heb. ii: 8.) 
If this be true, and to show this is the object im- 
mediately in hand, there flow many important 
and serious considerations. Properly constituted, 
there open before the state the grandest possi- 
bilities, the most glorious opportunities in the 
one work for which the world stands — the 
redemption of the church. Improperly consti- 
tuted, the state becomes worldly, sensual, devil- 
ish : an obstruction to the work of God in the 
salvation of men. The relations of the Christian 
subject to a God-rejecting and God-dishonoring 
state is a matter of profound importance. It is 
believed, however, that God has not left His peo- 
ple without light. In this, as in all duties, He 
marks out the way. 

" Wisdom," in the chapter from which the 
words at the beginning of the discussion are 
taken, is supposed by all good authorities to be 
Christ. He speaks under that name. Therefore 
Christ says, " By me kings reign, and princes 
decree justice." Here is an assumption of author- 
ity. It covers the legislative, the executive, the 
judicial departments of government. 

I. This positive declaration, made by the Son 
of God, is incompatible with the theory that 
Civil Government is independent of God. 

There is positive assertion here on the part of 



CIVIL GOVERNMENT— GENERAL PRINCIPLES. IO5 

Jesus Christ. It is in language free from all 
ambiguity. It is open and read of all. The tre- 
mendous power which government wields cor- 
roborates the necessity of the Divine hand in 
civil affairs. It has at its disposal the life of its 
subjects ; at its disposal the liberty of its sub- 
jects ; at its disposal the property of its sub- 
jects. Further — and what more needful of God's 
watchful and restraining authority — by declar- 
ing its boundaries in blockade against the Gos- 
pel, it can keep out the light, and leave the 
millions under its control to go to- hell. God 
forbid that men should speak of such power as 
irresponsible ! that even if God command, it is 
not bound to obey ! Some say " Government is 
like a banking institution or a railroad corpora- 
tion." Even a superficial examination into the 
power which civil government wields will show 
plain and remarkable differences between them. 

II. The open declaration on the part of the 
Son of God, " By me kings reign, and princes 
decree justice," establishes without peradventure, 
that Civil Government is a Divine Institution. 

Christ declares Himself to be the source of gov- 
ernment and of authority. There is deep mean- 
ing in those words, "by me." " Kiss the Son, lest 
he be angry, and ye perish from the way." " The 
Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men." 
" The powers that be are ordained of God." The 



I06 THE WITNESSING CHURCH AND 



tremendous authority vested in civil government 
proceeds from the throne of God. The institu- 
tion is Divine. This clothes the magistrate, in 
rightly constituted government, with Divine 
authority. " He is the minister of God." "He 
beareth not the sword in vain." " A revenger to 
execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." The 
civil officer, could he but realize this fact, would 
see that, while the people may choose the officer, 
they are not the source of authority by which he 
acts. He is directly responsible to God. He is 
not there to do the will of the people, only in so 
far as their will agrees with the will of God. In 
the beginning Christ ordained two institutions — 
the church ; the state. Both have been counter- 
feited. Some say, because men instinctively set 
up government, therefore it is not of heavenly 
origin. But men also instinctively set up relig- 
ion. Whatever arguments can be brought against 
a God-ordained state can be brought against 
a God-ordained church. The almost irresistible 
demand for government is of deep significance, 
since it runs parallel with the divinely appointed 
institution. 

III. Christ's declaration, "By me . . . princes de- 
cree justice," AUTHORITATIVELY RESTRAINS, On 

pain of His displeasure, the legislative de- 
partment OF GOVERNMENT WITHIN THE LIMITS 

of Divine Law. 



CIVIL GOVERNMENT GENERAL PRINCIPLES. IOJ 

With this, God's command, through Moses to 
Israel, exactly agrees: " And it shall be when he 
sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he 
shall write him a copy of this law in a book 
out of that which is before the priests and 
Levites; and it shall be with him, and he shall read 
therein all the days of his life ; that he may learn 
to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words 
of this law and these statutes to do them." The 
limits within which the legislator may exercise 
his talents are strictly defined. There is a foun- 
tain from which he must draw his inspiration, 
and the great fundamental principles of law. It 
is a narrow view that governments may be a law 
unto themselves. If they were, what might they 
not do ? This is the theory of despots, and the 
bulwark of despotism. Its supporters are such 
men as the Charleses and Jameses of England; the 
Neros and Pharaohs ; the unscrupulous rulers, 
whose names need but be mentioned to be de- 
spised. Enlightened nations are fast getting rid 
of the unrighteous theory. But the other extreme 
is no less unrighteous and dangerous, viz.: Law 
comes from the people. This is the theory in 
almost, if not every, republic. It is better than 
despotism, as life in the United States is better 
than life in Russia. But this is not the true posi- 
tion. Christ has not left the least of His sub- 
jects under independent legislative authority. He 



Io8 THE WITNESSING CHURCH AND 



is too deeply concerned in the interests of His 
blood-bought followers to leave them in the 
hands of scrupulous or unscrupulous men. He 
claims to direct nations. They may be great, 
millions strong; but He declares they are His 
subjects, and must receive law at His hand. 
When He sets forth His righteous law, that which 
infinite wisdom knows is best, and which secures 
the highest interests physically, intellectually, 
morally, spiritually, eternally — which forcibly re- 
strains evil — He asks : l< Why do the heathen 
rage, and the people imagine a vain thing ? The 
kings of the earth do set themselves, and the 
rulers take counsel together against the Lord, 
and against his anointed, saying, Let us break 
their bands asunder, and cast away their cords 
from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall 
laugh : the Lord shall have them in derision." 
These words clearly set forth the claim of the 
Son of God as the Lawgiver of nations. And if 
they cast out the Mediatorial Governor of the 
world from His position of legislative authority, 
" breaking asunder His bands and casting away 
His cords," He will visit in His righteous indig- 
nation until such nations are perished from the 
earth. Lawmakers should be deeply religious 
men, thoroughly consecrated to God. They must 
think God's thoughts after Him. Nor can there 
be greater disrespect, dishonor and evidence of 



CIVIL GOVERNMENT — GENERAL PRINCIPLES. 109 

rebellion, than for a nation to declare that to be 
a lawmaker or ruler, it is not necessary to believe 
on His name. 

IV. The object of this divinely appointed 
institution, Civil Government, is to protect and 

ADVANCE THE CHURCH. 

That the Church, the Bride, the Lamb's wife, 
should be accompanied by a protecting power is 
reasonable. She is peaceful and harmless as the 
dove, as she goes forth with her message of 
mercy. Beset on every hand by bitter enemies, 
there is need of protection. Hence, the ''magis- 
trate bearing not the sword in vain." Civil gov- 
ernment has signally failed in its object where it 
is not a " terror to the evil." It should put away 
open wickedness on every hand. It is the keeper 
of both tables of the Law. It is as much the 
state's duty to put away idolatry as murder. 
Swearing, blasphemy, Sabbath breaking, all open 
violations of the moral law are to be strictly 
dealt with, and by the authority of the Son of God. 
In doing so the state protects the church from 
the ravages of these evils. This Divine institu- 
tion was given for this very purpose. It thus 
prepares a highway for the church. It pulls 
down the mountains; exalts the valleys; makes 
the crooked straight; the rough places plain. To 
suppose that the state was instituted for itself, 
to live to itself, and that it has nothing to do with 



IIO THE WITNESSING CHURCH AND 

the church, is a theory as fallacious as it is ruin- 
ous in its application. There is a most intimate 
relation between these two Divine institutions. 
They are commissioned by the same authority, 
the Son of God. They receive law from the same 
Person — Christ. They are engaged in the same 
glorious work, the salvation of the elect of God. 
With this agrees the words of the Apostle: 
" Gave him to be the head over all things to the 
church. " God gave Christ mediatorial authority, 
that He might rule the nations, and constrain 
them to assist the church. To the same purport 
are the words of the prophet Isaiah: " And kings 
shall be thy nursing fathers, and queens thy 
nursing mothers." These words are spoken to 
Zion. God is declaring what the rulers shall do 
for her. This illustrates the church as protected 
and nourished by the state. The same truth is 
unmistakably set forth in the history of the Old 
Testament church. The kings of Israel and 
Judah are said to " do that which was right in 
God's sight " when they break down the images 
and cut down the groves, and set up the worship 
of the true God. These things are sufficient to 
establish the principle that there is a most inti- 
mate relation between the church and the state. 
Sometimes ministers and members of orthodox 
denominations join the infidel in his cry, " No 
union of church and state!"- This is a great 



CIVIL GOVERNMENT— GENERAL PRINCIPLES. Ill 



dishonor done to Jesus Christ, in whom these 
two institutions are united, and from whom their 
power comes. One of the most eminent fathers 
in the ministry of the Covenanter Church, who 
not many years ago passed on to his rest, made 
use of these words on a most solemn public occa- 
sion: "Ever since Christianity became a power 
among the nations of the world, the minds Of 
legislators have been occupied with the difficult 
question, Can church and state enter into mu- 
tual alliance, and yet each prosecute, untram- 
meled, its respective ends, and exercise uncon- 
trolled its important functions ? Though the 
verdict of the Christian people of the United 
States, if called to-day to answer this question, 
would probably be overwhelmingly in the nega- 
tive, yet we conceive the pious, profound, saga- 
cious men of the second Reformation more than 
two hundred years ago solved the problem cor- 
rectly, answering in the affirmative. And not 
only so, but for a brief period in the land of the 
Covenants, they presented to the world what has 
nowhere else been witnessed, the solution in 
practical operation." 

With this agrees in spirit the Declaration and 
Testimony of the Covenanter Church : " It is the 
duty of the Christian magistrate to take order, 
that open blasphemy and idolatry, licentiousness 
and immorality be suppressed, and that the 



112 the witnessing church, etc. 

Church of Christ be supported throughout 
the commonwealth" .... (Chap, xxix : 8.) 

The church has never put forth more strikingly- 
religious and deeply spiritual documents than the 
National Covenant of Scotland, and The 
Solemn League and Covenant of the three king- 
doms. Sometimes even Covenanters forget that 
the church and state were united in the swearing 
of these. They were sworn by the church, but 
they were sworn also by the state. They were 
taken and subscribed by King Charles II. at 
Spey, June 23, 1650. And Parliament did " or- 
dain the same to be presented at the entry of 
every Parliament, and before they proceed to any 
other act, that the same be publicly read, and 
sworn by the whole members of Parliament 
claiming voice therein. . . . and all judges, magis- 
trates, or other officers, of whatever place, rank, 
or quality .... to swear and subscribe the same 
covenant." * 

These covenants strikingly set forth what is 
argued for in the point under discussion, viz.: 
The state should protect and advance the 
church. This is true national reformation, 
and should be embodied in the declaration of 
principles set forth by the National Reform As- 
sociation now so earnestly laboring in the United 
States. 



* So. of Solemn League. 



APPLICATION OF PRINCIPLES TO CONSTITUTION. TI3 



CHAPTER X. 

APPLICATION TO THE CONSTITUTION 
OF THE UNITED STATES. 

There have been presented four important con- 
siderations, viz.: " Civil government is not inde- 
pendent"; " Civil government is a Divine institu- 
tion"; " Civil government is, on pain of Christ's 
displeasure, restrained in legislation, within the 
limits of Divine law"; " Civil government is 
appointed and ordained to protect and advance 
the church." Let there be now a practical appli- 
cation of these fundamental truths to the govern- 
ment of the United States. The most remark- 
able, as well as the most glorious Constitution, 
given forth by any nation, is not the Constitution 
of the United States. Far from it ! The three 
kingdoms, Scotland, England and Ireland, put 
forth such a Constitution two hundred and fifty 
years ago. That Constitution was the Solemn 
League and Covenant. It is the magna charta of 
liberty ! It gives government an object worthy of 
its exalted position. Well had it been if the found- 
ers of our government had breathed a little more 



114 APPLICATION OF PRINCIPLES 

of its spirit, and drunk more deeply at the foun- 
tain of its inspiration. The Constitution of the 
United States is thoroughly worldly; that, 
thoroughly Christian. The former seeks, but 
fails to glorify man; the latter, to glorify God, 
and does it. The former does not secure the 
civil liberty of which it proudly boasts ; for you 
must deny God's hand in civil affairs before 
eligible to the honors and emoluments of office. 
An impartial examination of the Constitution of 
the United States reveals these facts : 

I. God has been rejected as the source of 

THE INSTITUTION AND THE AUTHORITY BY WHICH 
IT ACTS. 

We use the term " rejected," advisedly. It is 
to put the Constitution ordained by the colonists 
in contrast with the Constitution (the Solemn 
League and Covenant) ordained by the " three 
kingdoms " at the Reformation, out of the influ- 
ence of which the stronger elements of the colo- 
nial settlers came. Through the influence of the 
devil, for it could not be of God, they adopted a 
godless Constitution. They therefore took along 
and serious step backward. The Scriptural doc- 
trine that the government and its officers should 
be bound to God with an oath, that they should 
profess, confess and maintain the true Christian 
religion; that they should covenant to be for God 
and His church, this was not only lost sight of, 



TO CONSTITUTION. 



115 



in the formation of our government, but these 
ends were studiously avoided. This is a great 
dishonor to God, as it is a perversion of the 
objects of civil government. The fruits of this 
" step backwa'rd " were soon seen. In a treaty 
with Tripoli, dated January 3, 1797, there is this 
declaration, strange to the heroes of the Refor- 
mations, as it is strange to God: " The govern- 
ment of the United States of America is not in 
any sense founded on the Christian religion; it 
has in itself no character of enmity against the 
laws, religion, or tranquillity of Mussulmans." 
This is a startling declaration to come from the 
highest authority in the land. It declares this 
heathen religion would be as much at home in 
the United States, and as jealously guarded as 
the Christian religion. As Article VI. of the Con- 
stitution declares, " This Constitution, and the 
laws of the United States which shall be made in 
pursuance thereof, and all treaties made, or 
which shall be made under the authority of the 
United States, shall be the supreme law of the 
land," this treaty with Tripoli is exalted to the 
position of supreme law. This, taken in connec- 
tion with the statement in the treaty, plainly 
proves the point under discussion, viz.: God 

HAS BEEN REJECTED BY THE CONSTITUTION AND 
LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES. 

Since the Mediatorial Governor of the Uni- 



Il6 APPLICATION OF PRINCIPLES 

verse has been cast out of the throne of this 
nation, it is interesting to know who occupies the 
place. There is a declaration which sets the 
matter at rest. It is found in the preamble to 
the Constitution. This declaration is given forth 
to the world and in the face of heaven, " we, the 
people ... do ordain, etc." There can be no 
misunderstanding here. God is dethroned, " we, 
the people," enthroned. It recalls God's forcible 
words to Samuel, when Israel refused to " obey 
the voice of Samuel, and they said, Nay, but we 
will have a king over us." God said to His old 
and faithful prophet, " They have not rejected 
thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not 
reign over them." 

This rejection of God from the government of 
the United States is the greatest dishonor done 
to God the last centuries, in that it is sinning 
against the light. The Lord Jesus plainly set 
forth the truth of His mediatorial authority in 
the second Reformation, but it is already cast 
back at the Spirit who revealed it. The Consti- 
tution of the United States contains no recogni- 
tion of God. It is as barren of it as the naked 
rock scorched by the Arabian sun. It knows no 
more of God than the heathen temple and the 
heathen god. Yet God is the author of civil 
government, and should not only be recognized 
outright, but His Spirit should breathe through 



TO CONSTITUTION. 



117 



it as He breathes through the organized church. 
Indeed, it is a sin of equal magnitude for the 
nation not to recognize God as for the church, 
both institutions being Divine. 

II. An examination of the Constitution discloses 
this: The will of the people is set up as the 

STANDARD OF RIGHT AND AUTHORITY. 

The instrument of national union goes still 
further than a rejection of God. He is " dis- 
charged under disgrace," as it were, from His 
own institution. He had declared long ago, so that 
men and nations might read, " He that ruleth 
over men must be just, ruling in the fear of 
God," and " Thou shalt provide out of all the 
people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, 
hating covetousness, and place such over them, 
to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, 
and rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens." God has 
declared that such shall be the qualifications of 
magistrates. They are to be men, " such as fear 
God." But, as would be'supposed, a government 
which dares reject God, will dare set aside His 
law. This the Constitution of the United States 
does. In Article VI. we read, " No religious test 
shall ever be required as a qualification to any 
office or public trust under the United States." 
This public and plain rejection of God's qualifi- 
cation of officers, as is done in the " no religious 
test " clause, adds double discredit and shame to 



Il8 APPLICATION OF PRINCIPLES 

the nation. By ruling God out of the legislative 
department of the government, the responsibili- 
ties of the position are assumed by " we, the 
people." They claim to be the law-making 
power. " We, the people," decide who shall be 
killed, who shall be saved alive, who shall be 
" bond," who shall be free; who may come to this 
country, who shall be forcibly ejected; who shall 
be eligible to the honors and emoluments of 
office, who shall not be, etc., etc. About one- 
eleventh of the population have assumed authori- 
ty. Seven millions are making law for sixty-five 
millions. As these seven millions are about 
equally divided into two great parties, and but 
one of these can gain the throne, the law-making 
power in this government is really in the hands 
of between three and four millions. About one- 
sixteenth of the people of the United States are 
the lawmakers for sixty-five millions. More 
still; no insignificant part of this one-sixteenth 
is composed of the worst elements of society, 
men who fear neither God nor man. They are 
men without principle and who will use dishon- 
orable means to accomplish their desire. Party 
platforms, and the moral qualifications of nomi- 
nees, are the two unimpeachable witnesses, here, 
that these " bad elements " rule in the parties. 
There need be no further witness that these 
things are true than to refer the reader to the 



TO CONSTITUTION. 



II 9 



legislation on temperance in the legislatures 
controlled by the various parties. The infamous 
business is licensed, and petted, and consulted, 
until its legislative history is not paralleled 
by heathen nations. 

We have now the conditions of the question, 
viz.: The ruling party, composed of between three 
and four millions of men, is itself under the control 
of the worst elements of society, men who fear nei- 
ther God nor man. Therefore, these worst elements 
really rule the nation. The will of the people is set 
up as the standard of right and authority. And this 
" will " narrows to the dominant party, and final- 
ly to the controlling elements in such party. " We, 
the people, do ordain," and it comes to this. 
Thus seen, it is not remarkable that they say, 
"We will not have this man to reign over us!" 
neither in His person, nor in His law. In this is 
explained the slavery of four millions of God's 
creatures, in this nation, not thirty years ago. It 
explains the Fugitive Slave Law, with its infa-' 
mous provisions to force the citizens even of the 
North to hunt down and return the immortal be- 
ings escaping to liberty. It explains the doctrine of 
States' Rights which took such hold of the South 
and caused it to rebel. It explains the mail trains 
which go thundering and screeching through the 
land on the Sabbath, spreading moral desolation. 
It explains the presence of the awful liquor curse, 



120 



APPLICATION OF PRINCIPLES 



which gathers men, women and children in one 
united stream and pours them, hissing and curs- 
ing, into the gulf of perdition. It explains the 
hold Romanism is getting in the government. It 
explains the character of the men who get into 
office, from the lowest to the highest. The will 
of the people is the paradise of the political 
demagogue. The more corrupt the "will," the 
deeper he burrows and the more filth he brings 
up. Saul rejected the will of God, and substitut- 
ed his own will and the will of the people, in the 
matter of the Amalekites. It cost him his king- 
dom. " Because thou hast rejected the word of 
the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being 
king. ,, To say, " we, the people," rule, and our 
will shall be supreme law, causes us, as a nation, 
to parallel these wicked acts of Saul. We saved 
slavery until God tore away the shackles in 
bloody and terrible judgments. We are now 
saving alive the liquor traffic, the Sabbath mail, 
etc. It is a fearful declaration, " we, the people," 
rule ! It is the proclamation of rebellion in the 
dominions of the Almighty. Listen to what God 
says in reference to it ! " Why do the heathen 
[nations] rage, and the people imagine a vain 
thing ? The kings of the earth set themselves, 
and the rulers take counsel together, against the 
Lord and against his anointed, saying, Let us 
break their bands asunder, and cast away their 



TO CONSTITUTION. 



121 



cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens 
shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in deris- 
ion. . . Thou shalt break them with a rod of 
iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces as a pot- 
ter's vessel." Success ? No ! Witness the peo- 
ple, beloved of the Lord, on their weary march 
to Babylon! Witness the people, not beloved of 
the Lord, the ten tribes, scattered and lost as a 
nation! 

It is admitted by all Christian people that 
Christianity is a blessing to any nation. But the 
great multitude of Christians are yet unwilling 
to say, " The nation should publicly own the law 
of Christ," as at once the greatest blessing to the 
nation and the greatest glory to the Redeemers 
name. What greater honor to Christ than for 
this great nation, sixty-five millions strong, to 
declare before the world that her greatness is due 
to the law of God ! What higher duty than for 
the nation to swear allegiance to that law for- 
ever ! This is a question to which no satisfactory 
answer can be given. Christ is the most blessed 
King, and wherever He reigns, blessings abound. 
Why reject Him ? Why reject His law? " What 
evil hath He done ?" Though statesmen be 
against Him, and shut their eyes to the fact that 
His religion makes grand nations, yet the time 
shall come when "The kings of Tarshish and the 
isles shall bring presents; the kings of Sheba and 



122 



APPLICATION OF PRINCIPLES 



Seba shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall 
down before him, all nations shall serve him." 

III. A most critical examination of the Consti- 
tution fails to disclose an implied or expressed 
acknowledgment of the state's duty to protect 

AND ADVANCE THE CHURCH. 

Some may not agree that this is the state's 
duty. But when they stand before the throne, 
in that vast multitude of the redeemed, and more 
fully realize the love of the Son of God for His 
church, they will then agree that " He was made 
head over all things to the church," that He 
might command them to assist in this most 
glorious work. It at once gives civil government 
a glorious object, viz.: To protect " the Bride, the 
Lamb's wife." But the Constitution of govern- 
ment, in this land, does not recognize this as 
duty, and immediately drops to the plane of selfish 
ends. It goes a step further: It puts the Chris- 
tian religion on a level with heathenism and 
infidelity. (See treaty with Tripoli.) Further: 
In the administration of the Constitution, the 
government hinders the church by protecting 
some of the most gigantic evils known to modern 
civilization. These evils, protected, not only 
become stumbling-blocks, but they are mighty 
forces opposing the church's progress. The 
liquor traffic throws itself across the path of the 
church. The two hundred thousand saloons are the 



TO CONSTITUTION. 



I23 



bulwarks behind which this enemy is entrenched. 
In the smoke of battle, and the thunder of this 
infernal artillery, there fall each year sixty thou- 
sand dead. But this system of iniquity is licensed 
and stands by the authority of the government. 
The government, therefore, openly opposes the 
church. Further, the Constitution of the United 
States delegates authority to the government to 
continue business on the Lord's day. This is 
done in the Sabbath mail. The number of men 
in the post-office department, and on the railroads 
in transportation, is probably about one hundred 
thousand. This is the size of the army with which 
the government opposes the church. They call 
out one hundred thousand every Sabbath, with 
the command, " Break the Sabbath !" It matters 
not if this is done on the plea of " business 
demands." The devil will always have a reason 
ready. The government has led the way in 
Sabbath traffic on the railroads. The Constitu- 
tion, therefore, authorizes the government to not 
only oppose the church, but causes the govern- 
ment to lead the way in breaking down morality. 
Congress sat during the Sabbath on March 3, 
£889. By what authority ? By the authority of 
the Constitution! Who gave the Constitution 
such authority ? " We, the people," who ordained 
it. Therefore Congress sat by the authority of 
every man who gives his allegiance to the Consti- 



124 APPLICATION OF PRINCIPLES TO CONSTITUTION. 

tution. But continuing business on the Lord's 
day puts Congress, and therefore the govern- 
ment, in opposition to the church. Congress 
further declares that they will use every Sabbath 
for business if they wish to. What a long step 
backward this is from the position taken by the 
government of the three kingdoms, at the swear- 
ing of the Solemn League and Covenant ! 

The three illustrations given, as to the opposi- 
tion of the Constitution to the church, and the 
forces which it sets at work to withstand the 
church's progress, are as sufficient to prove the 
point, and do prove it as conclusively as if five 
hundred were presented. The Constitution does 
not protect and advance the church! It opposes 
the church. It fights against her. By all the 
force of its tremendous example, it leads the way 
in wickedness. It does so by all the forces of 
statute law. It intrenches itself by requiring an 
oath to this wickedness before eligible to the 
honors and emoluments of office. It has passed 
beyond the boundaries of right authority, and 
goes out of its way to dishonor the Most High. 
The state has no right to inquire of a man's 
opinions, but it is the keeper of both tables of the 
Law in their application to the outward conduct 
of the subject. In doing this it protects the 
church, and prepares the "highway" for Zion. 
The church is the institution which the state 



DISSENT. 



125 



ought to rejoice in honoring. " And the Gentiles 
shall come to thy light, and kings to the bright- 
ness of thy rising." These words are concerning 
the blessings of the Gospel and the enlargement 
of the church. They continue, " Therefore thy 
gates shall be open continually; they shall not be 
shut day nor night, that men may bring unto 
thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their 
kings may be brought. For the nation and king- 
dom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, 
those nations shall be utterly wasted." (Isaiah 
lx: 3 , 11, 12.) 



CHAPTER XI. 

DISSENT. 

The Constitution has now been considered in the 
light of the three Scriptural principles, set forth 
in the preceding part of this discussion. It is 
found that the Constitution rejects God ; that 
it rejects His law ; that it rejects the church. It 
rejects these in a manner to end deliberation, 
controversy, doubt or contest. What, then, is 
duty? 

The Covenanter Church acts decisively. It 
holds it to be wrong to swear allegiance to such 



126 



DISSENT. 



Constitution, and requires its members to enter 
their dissent from it and protest against it. This 
requires, on the part of members, staunchness of 
character, firmness of principle, well-grounded 
faith. 

Before grouping the reasons for " dissent and 
protest," it can be said that dissent and protest 
is a principle acted upon by men in their politi- 
cal relations. The National Platform, put forth 
by the. Democratic party in the summer of '88, 
caused many to dissent ; some, because of what 
it did contain ; some, because of what it did not 
contain. Perhaps they fully agreed with the 
platform with the exception of one plank. But 
they deemed this a sufficient reason to leave the 
party, work against it and join the Republican. 
The individual, in this case, dissents from the 
action of three and one-half millions of people. 
Further, a man who has been a member of the 
Republican party for many years is possibly dis- 
satisfied with the position taken on the temper- 
ance question. He dissents, and steps over into 
the Prohibition party. He says the action of the 
three and one-half millions of people is wrong in 
the sight of God, and refuses to be identified 
with it. The principle is one and the same 
when the Covenanter dissents from the platform 
of the whole political body called the Constitu- 
tion. If it be honorable in the Democrat to dis- 



DISSENT. 127 

sent from the platform of the Democratic party, 
believing that one or more of its principles are 
wrong ; if it be honorable in the Republican to 
dissent from the Republican party, because he 
cannot subscribe to its principles ; it is equally 
honorable in the Covenanter to dissent from the 
Constitution of the United States, when it re- 
jects God, His law and His church. And 
especially is this true since the platform of the 
nation — the Constitution — must be accepted with 
an oath. 

The following are some of the reasons why the 
Covenanter will not swear allegiance to the Con- 
stitution of the United States : 

I. Having sworn with uplifted hands that 
Christ is the King of this nation, we can- 
not SWEAR ALLEGIANCE TO A CONSTITUTION 
WHICH REJECTS HlM. 

The Covenanter denomination claims to stand 
by the Lord, practically, as well as theoretically. 
The United Presbyterian denomination holds 
the doctrine of " Christ, the King of nations," 
theoretically. The National Reform Association 
holds and teaches the same doctrine theoreti- 
cally. This is not sufficient. There must be the 
practical application of the principle to conduct. 
But little progress is made until this is done. 
One duty of the church is to apply the great 
doctrines of salvation. The doctrine of Christ's 



128 



DISSENT. 



kingly authority should be applied. " Not every 
one that saith unto me Lord, Lord, "shall enter 
into the kingdom of heaven : but he that doeth 
the will of my Father which is in heaven." "Why 
call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things 
which I say ? Whosoever cometh to me and 
heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show 
you to whom he is like." If David is the king, 
it is wrong to swear allegiance to Absalom. If 
Christ be the King of this nation it is wrong to 
swear that " we, the people," are. If Christ be 
the King of this nation, and is rejected and de- 
throned by "we, the people," it is wrong, since we 
own Him as our Lord and our God, to swear a 
confederacy with those who have cast Him out. 
" Say ye not a confederacy, to all those to whom 
this people shall say, a confederacy : neither fear 
ye their fear, nor be afraid." He who believes 
that Christ is King of this nation, and yet swears 
allegiance to the Constitution which rejects Him, 
nullifies his testimony. Further, he is teaching 
that the doctrine should not be applied to the 
conduct. He teaches that a rebellion against 
Christ should be supported, and by an oath. This 
is wrong. He who teaches " Christ, the King of 
nations," has failed in the discharge of the com- 
mission unless he teaches how the individual may 
be free from the sin which our nation is commit- 
ting against "the Lord's Anointed." 



DISSENT. 



129 



II. Having sworn with uplifted hands that 
Christ is the Lawgiver of this nation, we 
cannot swear allegiance to a constitution 

WHICH REJECTS God's LAW. 

A meeting of national importance, to consider 
marriage and divorce, was held in Philadelphia 
on Oct. 27th, 1889. The Hon. Judge Russell M. 
Thayer presided. He said that he had made 
entries and issued decrees of divorce from the 
bench against the dictates of his conscience be- 
cause he was compelled by his oath to adminis- 
ter a preposterous, immoral and un-Christian law. 
"In many and many a case," he said, " have I 
felt that this thing was being done by agreement, 
and that the people who were bound by the law 
of God to remain united, were sundering them- 
selves by a trick, and I did not have the power 
or capacity to stop it. I have made many such 
decrees against the dictates of my own conscience, 
because I was obliged by my official oath to do 
it, because I had sworn to administer the law." 

These words of Judge Thayer state one thing, 
and suggest another. The)^ set forth the unright- 
eous divorce laws of Pennsylvania. They sug- 
gest that Judge Thayer should not have taken 
oath — that he did wrong before God to take an 
oath, to administer these un-Christian laws. He 
confesses to un-Christian acts here, and because 
he has sworn to be obedient to the will of "we, 



DISSENT. 



the people." But to swear that you' will steal 
does not absolve you from guilt ; nor does the 
Judge's oath, that he will separate families ac- 
cording to the wicked laws of Pennsylvania. 
This forcefully, clearly and Scripturally, and by 
high judicial authority, illustrates that the Cov- 
enanter's position is right, which is this : It is 
wrong to exalt the will of the people to the posi- 
tion of supreme law, and require an oath that 
this will, whether it agrees or disagrees with the 
will of God, shall be carried out. 

If, " we, the people," will not bind themselves 
to be governed by the law of God, they should 
not expect Christians to join them in the admin- 
istration of the Government. If " we, the peo- 
ple," will not say we mean to do right, as set 
forth in the law of God, the Christian should 
not say, "a confederacy " with them. Thirty 
years ago this nation was holding in bondage 
four millions of God's creatures. Why ? Because 
the " will of the people," as set forth in the Con- 
stitution, held them in slavery. And yet, during 
all those long years, during which the cry of the 
oppressed was going up to God, while children 
were being torn from parents, and parents from 
children; while God commanded to " let the op- 
pressed go free," the vast multitude of Chris- 
tians in the nation were swearing allegiance to 
the Constitution which held them in bondage. 



DISSENT. 



When the liquor traffic, with all its physical, 
moral and spiritual desolation, fairly bespatters 
the nation with the blood of crushed and man- 
gled victims ; when the wails and groans of the 
dying are heard even above the wild roar of this 
vortex of death ; when it is morally certain that 
the next generation will be forced to yield up its 
two million three hundred thousand to be sent 
to hell ; when God condemns the traffic an out- 
law, and commands governments to destroy it ; 
yet the multitudes of good Christian people in 
the nation lift up their hands before God and 
swear that the will of the people shall be 
supreme. And when the Constitution licenses the 
awful traffic, sending it forth by authority to do 
its worst, these good people yet cling to their 
idol — the Constitution — and adhere to the prin- 
ciple that "we, the people," have right " to estab- 
lish iniquity by law." 

When the treaty was made with Tripoli, and 
which is supreme law, and to which allegiance 
must be sworn in swearing to the Constitution, 
declares that " there is no God in this nation," is 
it not remarkable that good Christian people are 
willing to swear to such a God-dishonoring Con- 
stitution ! " Tell it not in Gath, publish it not 
in the streets of Askelon, lest the daughters of 
the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the 
uncircumcised triumph." 



132 



DISSENT. 



Blessed be God for the Covenanter Church, 
which witnesses against these dishonors to God, 
these wrongs to man! That " we, the people," 
rule, is a principle pernicious in its operations, 
ineffectual for the restraint of evil. There is 
needed a law which goes forth with an authority 
stronger than man's; it must go with the authori- 
ty of God. This the Covenanter Church testifies 
for, and refuses the honors and emoluments of 
office under the United States until such recogni- 
tion of Divine authority shall be made. 

III. Covenanters do not swear allegiance to the 
Constitution because it openly and in the face 
of the commandment, opposes the church and 
disputes, by Constitutional and Statute law, 
her teachings. 

Civil government has not changed. It is the 
same to-day as it was three thousand years ago. 
God blessed the kings of Israel and Judah when 
they, as His magistrates, overthrew idolatry, and 
put down Sabbath breaking. The zeal which 
these kings displayed in the promotion of the 
church's interests received hearty Divine appro- 
bation. Refusing to sanction the religion of the 
true God, they were judged by the Most High. 
When they opposed the church, the most dread- 
ful calamities overtook them and their kingdoms. 
The government of the United States claim that 
the Constitution binds them to neutrality in 



DISSENT. 



133 



religious matters. If it does, so much the worse 
for the Constitution. So much stronger the 
evidence that it is not what it should be. An 
institution which has its source in Christ cannot 
be neutral, and stand a disinterested spectator, toward 
the church for which Christ gave His blood. This is 
reasonable as it is Scriptural. But the Constitu- 
tion of the United States is not neutral ! It is the 
source of laws which contradict the church as 
they do the law of God. This is unseemly in a 
government which claims to represent a Divine 
institution. It is putting the two Divine institu- 
tions, the church and the state, at war with each 
other. The Constitution of the United States 
opposes, and with all its tremendous influence and 
power, the church in the Fourth Commandment 
— Sabbath mail. It opposes the church in the 
Sixth Commandment — liquor traffic. It opposes 
the church in the Seventh — easy divorce. It 
opposes in the Third — unscriptural oath. It 
opposes in the First — " we, the people," the 
source of authority. It opposes in the Second — 
open idolatry is protected. State papers oppose 
the church — they reject Christ from Thanksgiv- 
ing proclamations. " He that hath not the Son 
hath not the Father." These things react with 
terrible force on the church and her work. Fur- 
ther : the example of magistrates, and their 
public acts as officers in the nation, are, with 



134 



DISSENT. 



honorable exceptions, in keeping with the Con- 
stitution. 

What shall the Christian do ? Shall he assist in 
these things ? Can he pray consistently if he 
does ? The Covenanter Church protests against 
these things as wrong. And as the power to thus 
hinder the church comes from the Constitution, 
they protest against the Constitution as unright- 
eous. Christ cannot be divided against Himself, 
nor can His institutions oppose each other. If 

THEY DO OPPOSE EACH OTHER, THE CHRISTIAN 
SHOULD STEP ASIDE AND OUT OF THE ONE WHICH 

commits the offense. This the Covenanter does 
in view of the offenses against God and His 
church by the Constitution of the United States. 

IV. Covenanters will not swear allegiance to 
the Constitution,because in so doing they would 
become " particeps critninis" in all the evils 

WHICH IT PERMITS, PROTECTS AND SANCTIONS, IN 
ITSELF, OR BY STATUTE LAW. 

There is vagueness and indefiniteness, in the 
mind of men, as to where responsibility for 
national wrongs rests. Some say, upon the gov- 
ernment at Washington. But you go to Wash- 
ington, and see only a few men, who are sent by 
others, and with their duties definitely described. 

There are two responsible: First, those who 
send up the officers by vote. Second, those who 
give them Constitution and laws for their guid- 



DISSENT. 



135 



ance. Those who vote,and with the understanding 
that the Constitution, and laws made in pursu- 
ance thereof, shall define the duties of the officer, 
become the responsible parties. If we accept the 
Constitution, and vote for officers to administer 
it, we must be responsible for the evils permitted, 
protected and sanctioned. Hence, all who give 
their allegiance to the Constitution of the United 
States are responsible for the wrongs to God and 
man which are perpetrated in this nation. More 
still; this responsibility is not divided according 
to a rate per cent. That would reduce it to 
absurdity. If ten men murder one man, they are 
all murderers, and each suffers the penalty as if 
he alone were the guilty party. If sixty-five mil- 
lions of people agree together to cast out of the 
throne of this nation the Mediatorial Governor 
of the world, and usurp the powers and preroga- 
tives of the government themselves, they become 
individually responsible for dethroning the 
Son of God, and for all the wickedness 
which the government they set up per- 
MITS, protects, and sanctions. Thus viewed, 
it becomes a serious matter to join even 
with a vast multitude of people in adopting 
a Constitution which is not up to the standard 
of Divine law. That there are serious evils, 
most damaging to the cause of truth and 
righteousness, most dishonoring to God, most 



136 



DISSENT. 



hurtful to men, sanctioned and protected by the 
Constitution, has been, in the preceding discus- 
sion, clearly proved. That these rest on the 
individual who accepts the Constitution, in all 
their force, as if he were the only citizen, cannot, 
it is believed, be successfully refuted. Therefore 
every man who swears allegiance to the Consti- 
tution becomes individually responsible for the 
preservation, in this nation, of some of the most 
gigantic evils known to modern civilization. 

The Covenanter refuses to carry such responsi- 
bility. He frees himself by " dissent and pro- 
test "; by refusing to swear allegiance to such 
Constitution; by refusing to vote or hold office 
under it; by showing to the nation the duty and 
necessity of repentance and reformation. 

V. The Covenanter will not swear allegiance 
to the Constitution, because he has no political 

RIGHTS IN AN INFIDEL GOVERNMENT. 

We have right to live in this land, for it is 
God's country. We have right to life, liberty, 
and the pursuit of happiness, for these are God- 
given rights. But if the government of this land 
knows no God, then God does not know the gov- 
ernment. It would be unbecoming in His people 
to accept the honors and emoluments of office in 
a government which God does not know, and 
which is at war with Divine law. Further; hav- 
ing given themselves wholly to Christ, they are 



OBJECTIONS TO DISSENT. 137 

not at liberty to join a rebellion against Him. No; 
they must conduct themselves so as to be free 
from responsibility. The Christian has political 
rights in a properly constituted government. But 
he has none in an infidel government. Some 
Christians feel that it is a great cross to forego 
political privileges in this government. A thor- 
ough investigation will show that they have no 
political privileges to forego. 



CHAPTER XII. 

OBJECTIONS TO "PROTEST AND 
DISSENT." 

ist. It is objected that if all Christians should 
do as Covenanters, the government would be 
left in the hands of the worst elements. 

This is begging the question. The govern- 
ment is in the hands of these already. The very 
worst sot, who makes the air fairly blue with 
blasphemy, is held up and led to the polls. The 
debauched and profane go to the polls. The 
infidel goes to the polls. The anarchist goes to 
the polls. The Sabbath-breaker goes to the polls. 
All these are in office. Laws against drunken- 



138 OBJECTIONS TO DISSENT. 



ness, immorality, blasphemy, Sabbath-breaking, 
etc., are not executed. Boast if you will of this 
government, but what do they do for God and 
humanity more than others ? Look at Catholi- 
cism. It is permitted to oppose, hinder and 
destroy our common school system. 

W. E. Curtis, Secretary of Commission of the 
United States, to visit the Governments of Cen- 
tral and South America, says : " The Argentine 
Confederation is the leading Republic in South 
America. It has the most expensive free school 
system in the world, except in Australia. The 
Jesuits are excluded from all influence in educa- 
tional matters. A Papal Nuncio and an Arch- 
bishop were banished for attempting to interfere 
with the schools. Many of the teachers are lady 
graduates from our own colleges, and Protest- 
ants." 

" In Uruguay free schools and compulsory 
education are established, and all Catholic schools 
have been abolished, and monks and nuns are ex- 
pelled from the country and all monasteries and 
secret religious orders prohibited. " 

" Venezuela has declared itself independent of 
the Pope, suppressed monastic orders and confis- 
cated their property." 

" Brazil is in the same course, and has given 
religious orders ten years to dispose of their 
property." 



OBJECTIONS TO DISSENT. 



139 



" In Mexico, Romish parochial schools are 
abolished, the confessional is public, free schools 
with compulsory attendance are established." 

Contrast these things with the way popery is 
petted and fattened in this nation, with its sepa- 
rate schools, its monasteries, its nunneries, its 
Jesuitical orders! Why boast of a land of free- 
dom, when it is a land of slavery? The rum 
power and Catholicism and godlessness have sunk 
this land in point of morality, and the sooner 
we become conscious of it the better ! If all 
Christians, who have given their allegiance to the 
Lord Jesus Christ, would declare their " protest 
and dissent," and act consistent thereto, it would 
awaken the nation like a thunder peal ! Cove- 
nanters are the most patriotic lovers of their 
country ! If a vessel is drifting down to the 
precipice of Niagara, the strongest argument you 
can use is to go ashore. This Covenanters do as 
God declares over this nation, " The wicked shall 
be turned into hell, and all the nations that for- 
get God." 

" But you are doing nothing !" So they say. 
But we are doing this — we are preserving our 
integrity with God. This is the Christian's first 
and highest duty. Again, w r e are uttering a 
warning to this nation. This is more than others 
can say. Further, the Covenanter denomination 
is teaching the principles of civil government, 



OBJECTIONS TO DISSENT. 



showing the nation her duty to Christ, pointing 
out the line of national reformation, as is no 
other denomination. 

2d. It is objected that Joseph and Daniel held 
office, the former under Pharaoh, the latter under 
Nebuchadnezzar. 

Granted. They held office. But notice the 
conditions under which they accepted office. 
Here is the Constitution which Pharaoh handed 
to Joseph: " Thou shalt be over my house, and 
according to thy word shall all my people be 
ruled." The government is fully and completely 
committed to the hands of Joseph. More: it is 
done with the expressed understanding that he 
should govern in the fear of that God who had 
given him such wisdom. This Joseph exactly did. 

Daniel held office. So did Shadrach, Meshach, 
and Abednego. But here is the Constitution 
delivered to these servants of God as they were 
inducted into office: " Therefore, I, Nebuchad- 
nezzar, make a decree, That every people, nation 
and language, which speak anything amiss 
against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and 
Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses 
shall be made a dunghill." They are here direct- 
ed to administer the government according to the 
laws of the true God. Further, the same Scrip- 
ture declares that these servants of God refused 
to break God's law. They would not bow to an 



OBJECTIONS TO DISSENT. 141 



image, though they were cast into the burning, 
fiery furnace. This testifies that they were Cove- 
nanters. When the Constitution rejected the 
true God, they rejected the Constitution. This 
is what Covenanters, their spiritual descendants, 
do to-day when the Constitution of the United 
States rejects God, and requires you to swear 
that you will protect idolatry, the liquor traffic, 
Sabbath desecration, popery, etc., etc., they say, 
" We cannot, we will not." 

3d. It is objected that Covenanters will wait 
long before this reformation is accomplished. 

The time may be long, it may be short, God 
knows. But this we know, the Word of the Lord 
is sure. The nation will own Christ as its Execu- 
tive, Lawgiver, and Judge. The time how long 
is in the hand of God. But the " kingdoms of 
this world shall become the kingdoms of our 
Lord and of his Christ." The " time when," 
should not, and does not enter into the question, 
but, Is it duty ? Is it right ? 

At a great battle in which William, Prince of 
Orange, was successful, the enemy was permitted 
to march out of the fortress, the Prince, for rea- 
sons satisfactory to himself, expecting at the 
proper time, to take the commander of the 
enemy's forces prisoner. As this commanding 
officer was marching away, a brigadier was sent 
to bring his person. The commanding officer 



142 SHOULD THE WITNESSING CHURCH 

was immediately surrounded by his staff, who 
vowed they would die in his defense. Just then, 
a body of the Prince's cavalry came up, and the 
brigadier answered, " My business is to obey 
orders, not troubling myself about consequences. " 
Thus it is with the people of God and this rebel- 
lious government. "Wherefore come out from 
among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, 
and touch not the unclean thing,and I will receive 
you." (2 Cor. VK17.) " And I heard another voice 
from heaven, saying, Come out of her,my people, 
that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye 
receive not of her plagues. " (Rev. xviii : 4.) 



CHAPTER XIII. 

SHOULD THE WITNESSING CHURCH 
GIVE UP DISSENT? 

The latitudinarian views, the liberal tendencies, 
spoken of in the opening chapter, are not with- 
out their influence on the Covenanter Church. 
When almost every denomination is seriously dis- 
cussing the question, Should it not take lower 
ground, and be more conformed to the world ? it 
is not strange that the Reformed Presbyterian 



GIVE UP DISSENT ? 



143 



Church should feel the tendencies of the times. 
These are felt, and are producing more or less 
disharmony. 

When a denomination is about to take a lower 
position the conflict generally rages, in the prov- 
idence of God, around some particular doctrine, 
which stands or falls as the spiritual thermom- 
eter of the organization. As the heat of battle 
increases each party becomes more and more 
outspoken, until the whole denomination is 
swept from its moorings, as a vessel whose 
anchor chain has parted ; or, the conservatives 
holding the position, the liberals drift away to 
their own level. 

The point about which the conflict gathers, in 
the Covenanter Church, is " dissent and protest." 
If this be maintained, the denomination con- 
tinues to witness for the high attainments of the 
Reformations. It is to be hoped that the pres- 
ent indications of surrendering this " citadel " 
will pass away. But these indications are not 
to be lightly passed by. If, as the great Boston 
lecturer says, there is peace only " in resisting 
the beginnings of evil," the present is the time 
when the friends of truth should be active in 
guarding against the encroachments of error, 
and resist with determination the giving up of 
one fortress after another, which, at last, leaves 
the " citadel," " dissent," exposed, with probabil- 



144 SHOULD THE WITNESSING CHURCH 

ities of surrender. No amount of reproach, or 
public condemnation, should deter them from 
faithfully laying open fallacious theories, their 
tendencies, and final ruin to the church. Let the 
" marching orders " of those who wish to be true 
to the attainments of the past, the obligations 
of the present, and the heritage to the genera- 
tions to come, be such as these : 

" First pure; then peaceable." "Stand in the 
way, and see and ask for the old paths, and walk 
therein, and ye shall find rest to your souls." 

" Hold fast that which thou hast, that no man 
take thy crown." " Earnestly contend for the 
faith once delivered to the saints." " Hold fast 
the form of sound words which thou hast heard 
of me." " Be thou faithful unto death, and I will 
give thee a crown of life." 

What stupendous results hinge on fidelity ! 
The writer needs no apology, therefore, for at- 
tempting to show that there are forces at work 
in the Covenanter Church whose unavowed pur- 
pose is to cause the denomination to give up 
" dissent and protest." 

First, and chief of subversive forces, is a false 

POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY. 

The writer shall not attempt to set it forth. 
He could not. It is confessedly new. It is not 
more than twenty-five years old. It is the same 
age as the National Reform Association. It grew 



GIVE UP DISSENT ? 



145 



up with it. It has been transferred to literature 
of the Covenanter Church. It is influencing 
decisions. It is overthrowing previously accepted 
theories. It is carrying the day everywhere. It 
admits Covenanters to the polls to vote for meas- 
ures of all kinds, saying, " You are not guilty 
of the violation of obligations." It has been 
pushed so far that some who had accepted such 
philosophy find it necessary, on maturer reflec- 
tion, to reject it. If they had only rejected it 
before the harm had been done ! The pastor of 
Sterling, Kan., a father in the church and full of 
good works, says, in a forceful article against 
this political philosophy in Nov., '89, Our Ban- 
ner: " But to explain it [our dissent] by refer- 
ring to political bodies only seems to me to 
involve the matter in deeper mystery ; indeed, / 
never heard of a political body in connection with our 
dissent till about 20 years ago. Now, within a year or 
two, it has been discovered that there are two — one 
to make the Constitution, the other to administer 
it." (Italics ours.) 

The far-sighted and keenly discriminating pas- 
tor of Second Boston,* in an article in Nov., '89, 
Our Banner, says, "The Covenant ['71] knows 
nothing of two political bodies, especially in one 



* Since these pages were written the beloved brother has passed on 
to his rest. 



146 SHOULD THE WITNESSING CHURCH 

and the same nation ; it never heard of such a 
thing, never dreamed of it. Of this second political 
body it might be said in the words of Moses, ' It 
is a new god, come newly up, whom your fathers 
feared not.' " After having shown the fallacy of 
such political philosophy, he continues, " We trust 
our readers will have patience with the metaphys- 
ical character of this paper; it is not our fault. 
We have only been endeavoring to follow in the 
path in which Synod now walks. Moreover, 
it is not an iota more metaphysical than our 
church position now is ; but yet we candidly 
acknowledge it is so metaphysical that it is 
absurd to maintain it longer as a distinct posi- 
tion." 

It is not supposed that those who put forth 
this philosophy were not sincere. But the heathen 
mother is sincere when she casts her babe into 
the arms of a burning god. Sincerity does not 
change results. 

Second. Synod has taken a long step toward 
giving up " dissent," by authorizing members to go 
to the polls and vote for amendments. 

The same brother whose words are given 
above continues thus : "We made bold to say in 
Synod that when we were compelled to let the 
right foot go to the polls, we would not prevent 
the left from following it. And we say so again, 
meaning exactly what we say." He was com- 



GIVE UP DISSENT ? 



H7 



pelled by Synod to let his " right foot " — his mem- 
bers — go to the polls, and vote for amendments. 
Does he mean that they can now go and vote for 
men ? It would appear so. He continues: "We 
have reached that point in the prosecution of our 
work, when our ends are so nearly attained that 
the most honest and able men among us cannot 
say what is, and what is not, consistent with our 
position. And at this point we submit it beco7nes 
necessary to leave the matter to every mans own judg- 
ment and conscience'' (Italics ours.) " This result 
not only follows among ourselves from Synod's 
last action, but that action sweeps away the last 
recognizable difference between us and our 
brethren of the General Synod." 

It is not said that this brother is an authority 
on this subject, or that he correctly represents 
and explains the action of last Synod, but it 
must be admitted that he has good judgment 
and his opinions are entitled to careful con- 
sideration. He feels that Synod's action on 
voting for amendments is a surrender of the 
whole position. Others think likewise. Prob- 
ably all who voted for the negative, with ex- 
ceptions that could be counted on the fingers 
of one hand, think so. It is a matter of 
serious importance when forty, of one hundred 
and sixty, think the position has been vir- 
tually given up. It is believed, however, that 



14$ SHOULD THE WITNESSING CHURCH 



the cobwebs of this new political philosophy, by 
whose flank movement the victory was gained, 
will sooner or later be brushed away, and that 
the denomination will be free from the confusion 
which it produces. 

Third. The literature of the denomination 
manifests unrest with the unpopular doctrine of 
" dissent." 

This there is not room here to review. Liter- 
ature, more or less under disguise, but none the 
less truly, reveals decided unrest with the un- 
popular doctrine of " dissent." A new "church 
philosophy," corresponding to the new "polit- 
ical philosophy," is gaining currency in the de- 
nomination. It philosophizes about the admis- 
sion and qualifications of candidates, and reaches 
conclusions quite as subversive of good order 
and the intelligent acceptance of the distinctive 
principles of the church, as its sister "ism," polit- 
ical philosophy. 

It is now in place to show that these tenden- 
cies exactly correspond to those in the Covenant- 
er Church before the division of '33. One or two 
documents will establish the proposition without 
peradventure. 

The following is a Memorial addressed to the 
Synod of 1833. It shows how they had grown 
weary with the doctrine of " dissent," and me- 
morialized Synod to lift the burden : 



GIVE UP DISSENT ? 



149 



"DOCUMENT NO. 8. 

" Memorial from Tennessee. 

" Reverend Moderator and Remnant Members of 
the Reformed Presbyterian Synod to meet 
in Philadelphia in August, 1833: 

" Dear Brethren : Whereas, You have before 
you for a considerable time the subject of our 
relations to civil government, and the political 
institutions thereof in the United States : 

" Your memorialists, sensible of the extensive 
bearing of your decisions on that subject as it 
regards the interests of the church, we cannot 
refrain from expressing a deep solicitude in the 
same. We would not be understood as dictating 
to your Christian body. We beg leave, however, 
to suggest, as the subject regards the application 
of principle, and not the principle itself, the 
impropriety of making terms of communion of 
these points, onwvhich the learned, the aged, the 
experienced, differ When the strong are divided, 
what may we expect of the weak ? Let not then, 
we entreat you, allegiance or non-allegiance to 
the United States be made terms of communion 
in our church. ... It is painful in the extreme 
to hear young applicants required, as a term of 
membership, to denounce the government of our 
country as immoral ; though they are come to 



150 SHOULD THE WITNESSING CHURCH 



years of discretion, may be, and often are very 
limited both in reading and experience." 

It is seen in this that the plea of u inability to 
comprehend" was urged then. It was urged also 
that it was only " the application of principle." 

It was urged also that it was painful to require 
candidates to say of this government, " It is im- 
moral." 

As the Synod of '33 divided, the General Synod 
was under the necessity of declaring itself as to 
the relations of that new branch of the church 
to the institutions of our land. Such declaration 
was made in a series of resolutions, of which the 
following is the third: 

" Resolved, That this church, as such, has never 
had leisure to examine the institutions of the 
land so fully and to obtain such evidence upon 
the subject as to justify a definite judgment of 
their character ; and hence, much in this, as in 
most other relations and pursuits of life, has by 
the Supreme Judiciatory been left to an enlight- 
ened and conscience discretion, guided by the 
Word of God, and the well-known principles and 
standards of our church ; with the understanding 
and confident expectation that our courts and members 
would be free from all vexatious prosecutions in mat- 
ters upon which the Supreme Judiciatory has not 
passed." 

It will be noticed here that the General Synod 



GIVE UP DISSENT ? 



withdraws its judgment against this government, 
of immorality. It says, " It does not know." 

It says " dissent " shall be left " to conscien- 
tious and enlightened discretion." It will no 
longer hold the doctrine as a church. It dismisses 
all complaints against those who had voted and 
held office, as " vexatious prosecutions," which 
shall no longer be countenanced. 

It is only necessary to lay these things along- 
side of the undermining forces mentioned above as 
at work at the present time, to see that history 
is repeating itself. The church is traveling over 
the same ground. The old arguments, weather- 
beaten, brown and bare, by standing without 
these long years, are again brought in, brushed 
up anew, and sent forth as the results of profound 
thought. It would appear that the battle is to be 
fought over again. Therefore every soldier, tried 
and true, should be found at his post. God ex- 
pects every man to do his duty. It may be years 
before the problem is again solved ; it may be a 
short time. This we know, the truth is sure to 
triumph. If God means to reduce the band of 
the Covenanters, as was Gideon's army, we know 
that the three hundred will achieve the victory. 
If Gideon had changed God's commands, His 
terms of communion, his army would have been 
larger, but not victorious. But the three hun- 
dred, crying, "The sword of the Lord and of 



I52 SHOULD THE WITNESSING CHURCH 

Gideon," discomfited the enemy, when all Israel 
joined in the spoiling and slaughter of their foes. 
The Covenanter Church has nothing to fear even 
from reduced numbers. " God in the midst of 
her doth dwell." 

" God is our refuge and our strength, 
In straits a present aid ; 
Therefore, although the earth remove 
We will not be afraid. 

44 Walk about Zion, and go round 
The high towers thereof tell ; 
Consider ye her palaces, 
And mark her bulwarks well." 

Let the old "Resolution" the battle-cry of the 
sadly bereaved and shattered church at the 
division of '33, be again run up the standard, 
linked with Christ and the glory of His immortal 
name : 

" Resolved, That as it has always been in the 
proceedings and history of the Reformed Presby- 
terian Church, both in the land of our forefathers 
and in this land, a great and leading object to 
bear an explicit and practical testimony to the 
truth respecting civil government as the ordi- 
nance of God, and the subjection of the nations 
to the Messiah, so it is utterly inconsistent with 
our doctrinal standards and judicial acts for any 
member of this church to sit on juries, to hold 



GIVE UP DISSENT ? 



153 



office, or swear allegiance to the Constitution of 
the United States." 

Should the Witnessing Church give up dis- 
sent ? No : and for these, among other consid- 
erations : 

I. The reasons for dissent are the same 

NOW AS BEFORE. 

There is need for clear thinking here. The 
optimist says, "Victory is nigh, even at the 
doors." He seems to see the immediate triumph 
of the principles of the Covenanter Church. He 
is so well satisfied that " the day is gained," that 
he is almost, if not altogether, willing to let 
" dissent " go as having served its purpose. 
Others seem to feel that the principles have 
taken such hold of the masses that " dissent " 
should no longer be required as a condition of 
membership, but that it should be left to " a con- 
scientious and enlightened discretion." Others 
have come to disbelieve in u dissent." They want 
to get down into the muddy pool of politics. 
Others, again, born in the land, and who do not 
have to take oath as they would deposit a ballot, 
cannot see why they should not. Others, again, 
are susceptible to the influences of the political 
demagogue and the political harangue. Others 
are carried away by the Prohibition party, and 
think they must vote for officers to sustain the 
prohibitory laws, These influences, operating 



154 SHOULD THE WITNESSING CHURCH 

against the position of the Covenanter Church, 
were not so manifest twenty-five years ago as 
now. But after all that can be said on any or 
on all these lines has been set forth, the indis- 
putable fact remains — the reasons for dissent 
are not removed. They remain intact. They 
are as strong as ever, and affirm with all their 
original force that the Covenanter Church, in its 
position of " dissent," is right. 

The Constitution is " dissented " from because 
it rejects God; because it rejects God's law; because 
it sanctions and protects overt acts of wickedness. 
Have any of these causes been removed ? Not 
one ! Has national reform been pushed so far 
that God and His law are about to be acknowl- 
edged in the Constitution of the United States ? 
No ! and it is idle nonsense to think so. If there 
be sixty-five millions of people in the United 
States to-day, it can be truly said that three- 
fourths of those millions have never heard of 
national reform, and three-fourths of those who 
have heard, have no definite conception of its 
principles. The situation may as well be looked 
squarely in the face. It adds nothing to be 
visionary, and to hurrah before your armor is 
fairly girded. The Covenanter Church cannot 
afford to feel that its principles have about tri- 
umphed, and throw off the hawser which has held 
it so close to God, and free from this nation's 



GIVE UP DISSENT ? 



155 



guilt. The slave has been permitted to go free, 
but the authority which bound the slave has not been 
surrendered. The nation still stands in the very 
presence of those judgments of blood and slaugh- 
ter, by which God crushed slavery, and declares, 
" We, the people," rule, and say who shall be 
bond, who shall be free. 

II. The Covenanter Church should not, can- 
not give up " dissent," because it has declared 
before God and the world that it is wrong to 

" RECEDE FROM A MORE CLEAR AND PARTICULAR 
TESTIMONY TO A MORE GENERAL AND EVASIVE 
ONE." 

Many condemnations have been pronounced 
upon the "new light" body, during the last fifty- 
six years, for this very thing. An examination of 
the literature of the score of years after the 
division shows how their " receding from a more 
clear and particular testimony to a more general 
and evasive one," was regarded. It was said, in 
unqualified terms, that they did wrong. Shall 
those who pronounced the rebuke now be guilty 
of the same sin, and thus in an aggravated 
sense ? 

But it is affirmed that God's people are kept 
out, and His little ones are offended by these 
doctrines which they neither know nor under- 
stand. The implication is that they can under- 
stand God's decrees, His works of providence, 



156 SHOULD THE WITNESSING CHURCH 



the Trinity, the Humanity and Divinity of Christ, 
Justification, Adoption, Sanctification, the Resur- 
rection, etc. But when it comes to understand- 
ing that " God rules the nations," that "He is 
Governor of the nations/' that "He is Lawgiver, 
Executive and Judge," and that you should wit- 
ness against a government which does not so 
acknowledge, this, it is said, is far beyond the 
reach of children in Christ, and it is affirmed 
with tears that "God's little ones are offended." 
A comparative study of these doctrines will show 
that the latter are quite as easily understood, yea 
more easily, than the former. This plea of inabil- 
ity to comprehend is begging the question. It is 
a subterfuge which is easily punctured. Those 
who use it need to have their love to "Christ, the 
King of nations," revived. They have become 
bewildered, and suppose they love humanity 
more than others. 

Satan stoutly opposes the duty of " dissent," 
in that it makes so plain before the world that 
Christ is the nation's King. He bitterly resents 
the intrusion of the Son of God in these domin- 
ions. He does not care how much you say 
that Christ is the King of this nation, but when 
you come to act it out his wrath is fierce. Now 
if he can only prevail upon the Covenanter 
Church to haul down that flag, he says that he 
will remove the reproach hitherto resting on the 



GIVE UP DISSENT ? 



157 



denomination; that many will join who are kept 
out, etc. 

" More smooth than butter are his words, 
While in his heart is war ; 
His speeches are more soft than oil, 
And yet drawn swords they are." 

The church wisely condemns the following 
error, " That it is lawful, in order to enlarge the 
church, to open a wider door of communion, by 
declining from a more pointed testimony to one 
which is more loose and general." (Tes. Chap, 
xxxiii.) 

III. The Covenanter Church has covenanted 
with God that it " w«ill continue to refuse to 

INCORPORATE, BY ANY ACT, WITH THE POLITICAL 
BODY, UNTIL THIS BLESSED REFORMATION HAS BEEN 
SECURED." 

What is more solemn than a covenant — and one 
with God ? Blessed be God that He condescends 
to covenant with His people ! The history of 
the church has been one of covenanting. God 
covenanted with Noah ; with Abraham ; with 
Isaac ; with Jacob. He covenanted with Israel 
and with David. He renewed His covenant time 
and time again. When in trouble they sought 
Him, He graciously renewed the covenants which 
they had so often broken. The New Testament 
Church is a Covenanting Church. The Reforma- 
tions were times of special covenants. The Cov- 



158 SHOULD THE WITNESSING CHURCH 

enanter Church has its roots in the National 
Covenant of Scotland, and the Solemn League 
and Covenant of the three kingdoms. These 
marked attainments never before reached by the 
visible church. They mark the advance line of 
battle in Christ's conquest of the world. The 
covenant of '71 still more clearly emphasizes the 
great truths and doctrines of these justly famous 
documents. Particularly does it set forth " dis- 
sent," and in these unmistakable terms: "We 
will continue to refuse to incorporate, by any 
act, with the political body, until this blessed 
reformation has been secured/' 

This covenant was taken as a denomination. 
Its binding obligation is specifically stated in the 
Terms of Ecclesiastical Communion. It has been 
sworn to with uplifted hands before Almighty 
God. Upon the keeping of this covenant depend 
its blessings. We have no right to expect the 
fulfillment of its promises if we do not keep its 
obligations. 

What shall we do with this covenant of '71, 
which binds us " to continue to refuse to incor- 
porate, by any act, with the political body, until 
this blessed reformation has been secured ? " 

1st. That covenant can never be obliterated. 
It is written before God, and will meet every 
member of the Reformed Presbyterian Church 
in the judgment. It is laid up before the Cov- 



GIVE UP DISSENT ? 



159 



enant God as indisputable evidence of the obli- 
gations under which the church has come. 

2d. The covenant of '71 can be broken. 

The fragments of broken covenants lie scat- 
tered all along the line of the church's history. 
God seems to leave the church to choose whether 
she will keep or break obligations freely entered 
into. It is remarkable how often she has will- 
ingly, knowingly and persistently broken her 
covenant vows. 

il The sons of Ephra'm, who nor bows 

Nor other arms did lack, 
When as the day of battle was, 

They faintly turned back. 
They broke God's covenant, and refused 

In His commands to go ; 
His works and wonders they forgot, 

Which He to them did show." 

3d. Covenants broken call down God's chas- 
tisements. 

" For thus saith the Lord God : I will even 
deal with thee as thou hast done, which hast 
despised the oath in breaking the covenant." 
" And I will give the men that have transgressed 
my covenant, which have not performed the 
words of the covenant which they had made be- 
fore me. . . . into the hand of their enemies and 
into the hand of them that seek their life." Such 
passages can be almost indefinitely multiplied. 



l6o SHOULD THE WITNESSING CHURCH 

They are God's solemn words to those who break 
their covenant vows. 

4th. To break the covenant of '71 forfeits the 
blessings guaranteed, hinders the inflowing of 
the Spirit, and blights the work of the denomina- 
tion. 

If the covenant of '71 was entered into in the 
true spirit of covenanting then it follows (a): 
The denomination has promised that it will not 
incorporate with the political body by any act. 
(b) : God has promised that He will give the 
power, the glory, the authority, in this nation, to 
His Son, Jesus Christ. But each party must keep 
the contract or the other is absolved. Further : 
If either party breaks the provisions of the 
covenant, he thereby consents to the with- 
drawal of the obligations resting on the 
other party. If the Synod of the Reformed 
Presbyterian Church breaks the covenant of '71 
by leaving incorporation with the political body 
ta " a conscientious and enlightened discretion, " 
or by any act opens the doors to "suffrage," they 
consent to the withdrawal of Christ from these 
dominions as the " Governor of the nation." 

IV. For the Covenanter Church to leave "vot- 
ing," " holding office," " swearing allegiance to 
the Constitution, to the individual conscience," is 
to declare, by the highest authority in the church, 
and as the representatives of Christ, that these acts 



GIVE UP DISSENT ? 



161 



are not sinful; or, if sinful, they should be al- 
lowed. 

ist. If they are not sinful the denomination 
has stultified itself, dishonored God, proved it- 
self an unsound interpreter of the Word of God, 
been a false teacher all these years, uttered 
false witness against sister denominations, and 
wronged the members who have adhered to the 
Covenanter faith. 

2d. If they are sinful it will be the most solemn 
step the Covenanter Church has ever taken to 
declare before God, and a world struggling in 
darkness and asking guidance in the complex 
situations of life, that they should be allowed. 
It will be paralleled only by the indulgences of 
Rome. 

V. In fine: It is believed that the Covenanter 
Church will not reject its testimony. 

To do so would put back national reformation 
centuries. This is believed to be contrary to 
the purposes of God. The trend of the world's 
history is upward. It is out into the light, not 
into the darkness. 

The Covenanter Church will live. God will 
not let it die. It may be reduced to societies, 
but it will live, and be the leaven which will yet 
leaven the nation. 

In view of these things, it is said without the 
least hesitation, and in unbounded confidence in 



162 



OATH OF ALLEGIANCE AND 



the final triumph and vindication of the Coven- 
anter's position of " dissent," that the present 
position of the Reformed Presbyterian Church 
should be strictly, consistently and faithfully 
maintained. On the threshold of the last great 
battle of the war, Gen. Grant asked Gen. Lee to 
surrender, that there be not further shedding of 
blood. The latter, in the true spirit of a van- 
quished but unconquered foe, returned the an- 
swer, " The time to surrender the Army of Vir- 
ginia has not yet arrived." 



CHAPTER XIV. 

OATH OF ALLEGIANCE AND CIVIL 
OFFICE. 

Allegiance, according to Webster, is " The tie 
or obligation, implied or expressed, which a 
subject owes to his prince or government." Al- 
legiance to a government expresses a moral 
relation which makes you responsible for its acts. 
Allegiance to the government of the United States 
is entering into such relation on the basis of 
the declared Constitution. You become morally 
responsible to the same extent as if you had 



CIVIL OFFICE. 



163 



framed, adopted, and were the executive of, the 
Constitution. 

" Oath " is defined by Webster, " A solemn 
affirmation or declaration made with an appeal 
to God for the truth of what is affirmed." 

It is clear from this definition that an oath 
brings nothing into existence. It is not its 
province to formulate principles, or provide con- 
ditions which, call forth action. These ante- 
date the oath. The principle and duty are rec- 
ognized as right before the oath is used. The 

OATH DOES NOT CONSTITUTE OBLIGATION. Our 

allegiance to honesty lies back of any oath. The 
oath to the government of the United States 
does not create allegiance. The following is 
that part of the naturalization law applicable to 
the case in hand. 

" He shall, at the time of his application, 
make oath that he will support the Constitution 
of the United States, and that he absolutely 
and entirely renounces and adjures all alle- 
giance and fidelity to every foreign prince, poten- 
tate, state or sovereignty, particularly the state 
or sovereignty to which he has been a sub- 
ject. ,, 

The allegiance expressed in this law may ex- 
ist perfectly, and be regarded by God as sincere 
as well without the oath as with it. When a man 
swears allegiance he is calling on God to wit- 



164 OATH OF ALLEGIANCE AND 

ness that he, in accepting the relation, is deal- 
ing honestly and truly. If all men were truth- 
ful and honest, the oath, in its connection with 
allegiance, might be removed. It in no sense 
constitutes the principle which the word " alle- 
giance" represents. The latter may exist perfectly 
without the former. That this is the proper in- 
terpretation is seen from the fact that the large 
majority of the citizens of the United States 
(probably in the proportion of one thousand to 
one hundred) do not swear to their allegiance. 
But it exists, and God holds them responsible. 

The government of the United States and of 
the States, under the authority of Constitutions, 
have created hundreds of thousands of offices. 

These offices are to be filled by men who will 
carry out the will of the people as expressed in 
the Constitutions. The officers are not there 
without law, nor are they to be a " law unto 
themselves." If such be not true, the officer is 
absolute monarch. In a republic the officer 
fills an office created by the Constitution, to 

CONSERVE THE CONSTITUTION AND EXECUTE LAW 

made in pursuance thereof. In order that 
such end may be the more certainly attained, 
the government intensifies the obligation by 
causing the officer to " swear." 

The question which presents itself is this : 
Can Covenanters, who dissolve their allegiance 



CIVIL OFFICE. 



by protest against, dissent from, and rejection of, 
the Constitution, fill these offices if no oath is re- 
quired ? 

If the question be answered in the affirma- 
tive, we have the strange spectacle of a hundred 
thousand offices filled by Covenanters who are 
administering law according to the specific 
requirements of a Constitution which they reject, 
yet claiming that they are not doing wrong be- 
cause they did not swear that they would do 
it. But filling an office created by the Constitu- 
tion, or bylaw made in pursuance of it, does not 
require an oath to hold the officer who pre- 
sents himself and is elected by the suffrage of 
the people, morally bound to administer the 
government according to the declared will of 
the people as expressed in the Constitution. 
Unless the officer presume to make and interpret 
law for himself, a position diametrically opposed 
to republican institutions, there is no other basis 
upon which he can act. The Covenanter who 
performs the feat of getting into office, be it 
President, Governor, or office of lesser note, has 
not been strictly honest. He has mentally re- 
served to himself the right to accept such laws 
and administer such laws as he thinks to be 
right, and to reject such as he thinks to be wrong, 
thus making himself the legislator, executive and 
judge of all under his authority. He does not 



l66 OATH OF ALLEGIANCE AND 

wait even for the church to say what should be, 
or what should not be, received as Divine law. 
It is only necessary to state that this kind of 
" side show " would not be permitted if under- 
stood. It is usurpation, and would result in 
absolute despotism. 

The acceptance of official trust binds the in- 
cumbent, irrespective of any oath, to carry out 
the purposes of that office in the strictest integ- 
rity, according to the rules and laws when he 
accepted the position. If Ahithophal accepts 
office under Absalom, either with or without 
oath, he is guilty. It is not necessary to swear 
a pilot to bring him under obligations to direct 
the vessel to the port the owners desire. By ac- 
cepting position he has surrendered preferences, 
and if he has mentally reserved to himself the 
right to direct the vessel according to his own 
desire, he would be and ought to be returned in 
irons. " But," answers the Covenanter politician, 
" I believe in God and would do only what is 
right." Very well. But it is still an open ques- 
tion whether sixty-five millions of people have 
the same confidence in your righteous ability, 
which personally is implicit. Not many would 
be willing to accept that kind of government — 
where the rulers are a law unto themselves. It 
has led to terrible results in the past, would do 
so in the present, and in the future. 



CIVIL OFFICE. 



We seem to have arrived at these conclusions : 
First. He who accepts an office created by the 
Constitution or laws made in pursuance thereof, 
has yielded all personal preferences to the ex- 
pressed will of the people. 

Second. He who accepts an office mentally re- 
serving to himself, and in conspiracy with others, 
the right to execute such laws only as he be- 
lieves TO BE FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD, is dishonest 

with the Constitution, and has the spirit of a 
despot. 

Third. Having accepted official trust, the obli- 
gation to fulfil that trust according to the Con- 
stitution and laws creating it, stands irrespective 
of any oath. The oath creates neither the trust 
nor the obligation. 

If these conclusions be correct, the statement 
that the Covenanter's " only barrier is the oath 
to the Constitution " is a fallacy. A very often 
misconstrued quotation from the historical part 
of Testimony (page 121), is this : 

" Reformed Presbyterians have refused to 
serve in any office which implies an approbation 
of the Constitution, or which is placed under 
the direction of an immoral law." 

As a matter of fact, there is not an office under 
the Constitution, the acceptance of which does 
not imply an " approbation of the Constitution." 
Nor is there an office in the government of the 



1 68 



OATH OF ALLEGIANCE AND 



United States, from President down, but that is 
under the " direction of an immoral law/' It is 
accepted by Covenanters that the United States 
Constitution is atheistic, and therefore poisoned 
with the worst kind of immorality. But this 
Constitution is supreme law to every officer. His 
office comes in virtue of it, and his authority 
from it. When the captain issues an order to his 
company he does so in virtue of a standing com- 
mandment, or one then received from his superior 
officer, or the Commander-in-Chief in person. The 
Constitution is Commander-in-Chief, and directs 
every officer through subordinate laws. The 
Constitution reads : 

" This Constitution, and the laws of the United 
States which shall be made in pursuance thereof, 
and all treaties, shall be the supreme law of the 
land ; and the judges in every State shall be 
bound thereby, anything in the Constitution and 
laws of any State to the contrary notwithstand- 
ing." (Art. VI, sec. 2.) 

In the last resort the instructions to every offi- 
cer are the Constitution and laws made in pur- 
suance thereof. Every office is therefore placed 
under the direction of this Constitution which 
Covenanters witness against as immoral. 

Some, in their study of this question, are in 
confusion here. They take three propositions 
from u The Two Sons of Oil," and endeavor to 



CIVIL OFFICE. 



169 



prove that office may be held when the duties are 
right, and regulated by a just law. The three 
propositions are : 

" 1st. That the duties belonging to it [the office] 
be right in themselves. 

" 2d. That they be regulated by a just law. 

" 3d. That there be no other oath of office 
required, but faithfully to execute the official 
duties." 

Let these propositions be illustrated. Suppose 
a Covenanter, politically inclined, looks over the 
office of County Treasurer. He finds that the 
duties are all right in themselves, such as a Chris- 
tian could perform. (1st prop.) He finds that 
the little circle of laws with which he will have to 
do are just laws. (2d prop.) He will be permit- 
ted to take the office of County Treasurer without 
an oath. (3d prop.) 

Can he do it ? Several questions ask consider- 
ation. 

1st. Who created that office ? " We, the peo- 
ple ! " and by a godless Constitution. 

2d. Who gave him the office ? " We, the peo- 
ple ! " and by their own authority. 

3d. By whose authority does he execute the du- 
ties of the office ? By the authority of " We, the 
people ! " God is not recognized from first to last. 
The whole power of the government stands 
ready to defend and support him. He therefore 



OATH OF ALLEGIANCE AND 



wields a God-defying power. He fills an office 
created by the Constitution, and administers it by 
the authority of the Constitution, which Consti- 
tution declares the government is created and 
administered without God and any reference to 
His law. The Treasurer is part of the system. 
He is one of the officers of a godless government. 
He is wielding the power of a godless govern- ■ 
ment. He is supporting the Constitution and 
government by becoming an integral part. It is 
therefore affirmed, believing that it cannot be 
successfully contradicted, that his relations are 
exactly the same as if he had taken oath. He is 
already supporting the Constitution by becoming 
an integral part of the government ; he is dis- 
charging the duties which that Constitution im- 
poses; he is doing the very things which he would 
do if he made oath. And to- simply swear that 
he will do what he is now doing cannot be the 
point where guilt commences. In studying the 
Constitution, in all its ramifications and parts, 
in all its offices, officers and laws, let the oath be 
put to one side, remembering that the oath is 
only calling upon God to witness our sincerity. 

The oath is not a necessary part. The Con- 
stitution and government could exist without it 
quite as well as with it, if all were sincere. The 
three propositions of " The Two Sons of Oil " 
are, therefore, rejected, as generally interpreted, 



CIVIL OFFICE. 



171 



as misleading. They leave out of view the fact 
that the offices are created and administered by 
an authority which openly and publicly and de- 
fiantly rejects the Lord Jesus Christ as Lawgiver, 
and King of the nation. The Covenanter cannot 
serve under such authority. When Joseph and 
Daniel accepted office, the proclamation that the 
true God is supreme rolled on to the uttermost 
boundaries of the kingdoms. But the proclama- 
tion of the United States Constitution is the 
rejection of God and His authority. Shall the 
Covenanter administer such authority, become its 
representative, the channel through which it 
flows? And while doing such things shall he ex- 
cuse himself to the nation's rejected King by 
saying, " I did not swear that I would " ? 

The oath is a witness. It stands by, and asks 
God to stand by, and see that we mean to hon- 
estly serve the Constitution. If dispensed with, 
and the service is performed, the guilt would ap- 
pear to be about the same. The conclusion 
arrived at is this : The Covenanter cannot hold any 
office or public trust under the Constitution and 
government of the United States, and no more 
without than with an oath. 



172 



THE WITNESSING CHURCH AND 



CHAPTER XV. 

THE WITNESSING CHURCH AND TEM- 
PERANCE. 

GENERAL PRINCIPLES. 

It is not necessary, in this connection, to discuss 
the awful ness of the liquor traffic. Its greed 
and thirst for " blood," passing the ferocious 
beast, is something before which we stand 
amazed and stunned. It fears neither God nor 
man. In its wild career it plunges its dagger 
into friend and foe. To openly oppose it calls 
down the very wrath of Satan. The financial 
strength of the liquor traffic is something near 
one thousand millions of dollars. We can form 
little conception of this amount. It has grown 
to this from insignificant beginnings two genera- 
tions ago. As it stands on the threshold of the 
generations to come, and with a thousand millions 
invested, with all the appliances necessary to 
growth, it becomes volcanic and cyclonic in pos- 
sibilities. But the spread and growth of the 
business must rest on a corresponding increase 
in the number of drinkers and drunkards. God 



TEMPERANCE — GENERAL PRINCIPLES. I 73 



forbid ! May this not be ! But it must be if the 
growth of the traffic continues. This bespeaks 
unmeasured suffering, unutterable sorrows, na- 
tional desolation. Liquor interests already dom- 
inate. They hold strategic positions. They 
command the attention of the state and nation. 
They put down ; they set up. Their frown is 
political death, their smile, political exaltation. 
But what to do with the monster, so destruct- 
ive, everywhere present, is confessedly one of the 
most serious and difficult problems which con- 
front the States of the Union. It is one of the 
most gigantic evils known to modern civilization. 
That it should be licensed, and thus receive the 
protection and sanction of law, in nations which 
have the Gospel and the civilization which flows 
from it, shows great degradation, corruption and 
prostitution of power. It is despotic in tendency, 
and looks to the final overthrow of freedom. 
The government which will leave its subjects to 
the havoc of intemperance — to its poverty, its 
ruin, its death — will be found, erelong, an insuffi- 
cient safeguard to other rights and liberties. 

What shall be done with these workers of 
iniquity ? Shall they be destroyed, their power 
to continue the evil taken away, or reformed ? 
Some suggest : 

I. The destruction of the evil doers. 

There is an element of murder in the liquor 



174 THE WITNESSING CHURCH AND 



traffic. The kind of liquors sold ; the poisons 
added ; the ingredients which create a frenzied 
appetite ; the murders committed through drink; 
the immorality and licentiousness always found 
with the traffic ; the poverty and rags and misery 
which follow it — these are elements which define 
the moral character of the business. It is not 
putting it too strongly to say, // murders. If it 
does, all the lesser crimes in the catalogue lead- 
ing up to it are also to be laid to the charge of 
the traffic. 

Furthermore, the liquor power does not scruple 
to take life. This, not by the slow process of the 
drunkard's death, but by the bludgeon, the knife, 
the bullet. It does appear that the traffic is 
justly outlawed. More still : that those who aid 
and abet it should be destroyed. The drinker, 
also, comes in for condemnation. He is aiding 
the liquor dealers. He is assisting them. He 
fights under their flag. He espouses their cause. 
He is also a self-murderer. He is taking his own 
life. For this he is guilty before God. He mur- 
ders the happiness of his family. He leaves them 
outcasts and vagabonds. It is an awful heritage 
he leaves his children. To claim liberty to do 
so is to claim liberty to shoot down. 

What do those engaged in such business de- 
serve ? Are they entitled to protection ? Are they 
entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happi- 



TEMPERANCE GENERAL PRINCIPLES. I 75 

ness ? Should they be hanged, imprisoned, or 
fined ? This is a serious question. But it is safe 
to say that the two hundred thousand and more 
men, say nothing of women and children, en- 
gaged in the liquor traffic, should not be de- 
stroyed. (This is not discussing particular cases.) 
We are all guilty of the violation of God's law in 
not a few particulars. The principle which would 
destroy them would react upon us all. Also, this 
is not God's method. He sent His Son to save. 
The two hundred thousand liquor dealers should 
be saved. The destruction of these thousands 
of men and women and boys and girls is not to 
be thought of in the solution of the question. At 
the same time their case is aggravated. They 
reject the light. They put back the tears and 
prayers of suffering ones. They brutally treat 
their own victims. They pursue their infernal 
business with insatiable thirst. " Destroy ! " 
may yet be the necessary decree. 

II. The overthrow of the power by which 

THE LIQUOR TRAFFIC OPPRESSES AND CORRUPTS 
MEN. 

This looks to law and its enforcement; to con- 
stitutional measures ; to local option, etc. Bar- 
ring high license, low license, or any license what- 
soever, these say to brewer, saloon keeper, and 
drinker, "Thou shalt not !" This is God's method 
of dealing with evil. It is His command to the 



176 THE WITNESSING CHURCH AND 

nations with reference to this evil. If brewer, 
saloon keeper or drinker breaks through the law, 
let him be imprisoned. We say imprisoned rather 
than fined. Fines are of little use. They help 
one another. If laws in keeping with the law of 
God were vigorously enforced, with severe pun- 
ishment for violation, the power of the liquor 
traffic would be taken away. Great labor has 
been put forth, vast amounts of money expended 
to amend Constitutions, and enact laws to this 
end. It is along this line that nearly all efforts 
have been bent during the last fifteen years. But 
little progress has been made. Nine States have 
rejected constitutional prohibition. One State 
put it out of its Constitution. It is doubtful if 
those States which have it will be able to hold it. 
Politics in this nation is not to be depended on. 
It ebbs and flows; goes to a conclusion with tre- 
mendous sweep ; recedes again into the very 
iniquity from which it was cleansed. " The dog 
returns to his vomit, and the sow that was 
washed to her wallow in the mire. ,, Thus with 
unsanctified, godless politics. But civil govern- 
ment is God's institution; ordained for this very 
thing. "Rulers are not a terror to good works, 
but to the evil." " But if thou do that which is 
evil, be afraid ; for he beareth not the sword in 
vain ; for he is the minister of God, a revenger 
to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil/' 



TEMPERANCE GENERAL PRINCIPLES. I 77 



Civil government is the arm of God, mighty, 
omnipotent. But when civil government refuses 
to rise to the height of God's authority, and re- 
jects His infinite wisdom set forth in Divine 
law, and insists upon groveling in the sordid 
narrowness of men's minds, and in enacting as 
law men's findings instead of God's, reforms 
labor under the most disheartening disadvantage, 
weary in thickening difficulties, and finally drop 
out of sight after years of arduous toil. (This 
phase of civil government will be more particu- 
larly considered in the following chapter.) 

The liquor traffic desperately opposes this 
method of dealing with the problem of intem- 
perance. It will willingly submit to low license 
or high license, but it does not want a prohibi- 
tory law. It brings mighty influence and power 
against the enactment of such law. It pours out 
money like water. It hires any number of 
workers. 

But this is one of the strongest reasons, 
aside from direct Scriptural command, to deal 
with the traffic by outlawing it. But whether 
this is possible in a godless, Bible-rejecting govern- 
ment, is a serious question. 

III. THE REFORMATION OF THE DRINKER, THE 
SALOON KEEPER, THE BREWER. 

The reformation of those under the influence 
of, or engaged in, the liquor traffic is a most 



i 7 8 



THE WITNESSING CHURCH AND 



discouraging and disheartening work. It is so 
much so that it has been all but abandoned dur- 
ing these years of efforts at amending Constitu- 
tions. And no wonder — results have been so small. 
Of difficult things the reformation of the drunk- 
ard seems to be the most difficult. He stands 
profuse with promises, but straightway falls into 
an awful drunken spree, more awful than those 
going before. What shall be done ? One State 
after another says we will have the traffic, 
and send an army of sixty thousand to the grave 
each year. And only a scant one here and there 
can be rescued. The thoughts of it are sufficient 
to produce great sadness and searchings of 
heart. These things may be said, however : 

ist. These drunkards and manufacturers are 
not Christ's people. 

2d. Ten go to hell through respectable moral- 
ity and indifference to Christ, to one through 
intemperance. It is supposed that this nation 
numbers 65,000,000 souls. It is said that 60,000 
go to drunkards' graves each year ; or 2,000,000 
in a generation. The number of professing 
Christians is about 10,000,000. Multiplying this 
by three, to surely cover children in Christian 
homes, and you have 30,000,000. Thus 32,000,000 
of the sixty-five are accounted for. But what be- 
comes of the other 33,000,000 ? This represents 
1,000,000 a year for a generation. While 60,000 



TEMPERANCE — GENERAL PRINCIPLES. Ijg 



drunkards are going to the grave, 1,000,000 easy- 
going, outwardly respectable people have passed 
on to hell. In other words, while intemperance 
is casting one man into perdition, indifference to 
Christ is casting fifteen. 

Furthermore, it is just as horrible to go to hell 
through respectable morality as intemperance. 
Nor does indifference to religion come through 
intemperance, but intemperance through in- 
difference to Christ. 

" I went by the field of the slothful, and by the 
vineyard of the man void of understanding ; and 
lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles 
had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall 
thereof was broken down." (Prov. xxiv : 30.) 
Without Christ we are a prey to all forms of 
wickedness, intemperance with the others. But 
"The name of the Lord is a strong tower ; the 
righteous runneth into it and are safe." 

1 st. All efforts at reformation will fail where 
they seek to reform the drunkard from his cups 
only. The many years' experience justify this 
conclusion. 

2d. The reformation which leads to Christ, 
union with His church, with all that these im- 
ply, will be successful. 

3d. The grace of God is amply sufficient for 
the regeneration of the drunkard's soul. True, 
the Scripture says, "No drunkard shall inherit the 



l8o THE WITNESSING CHURCH AND 

kingdom of God/' But it says the same of the 
" covetous," of " revilers," of "extortioners." The 
implication is that all can be cleansed by the 
grace of God, and one as readily as the other. 
These can be convicted of sin and be brought to 
Christ. 

4th. Intemperance illustrates and establishes 
the iniquity of man; the pollution of his soul ; 
the crying need of the Gospel. 

What better opportunity could the church 
desire, when sin is so positively illustrated ? Any- 
body, everybody, can see the need of the Gospel, 
the saving grace of God, when sin is thus run- 
ning rampant and overleaping all restraint. The 
situation should awaken the church. Here is a 
mighty evil. What louder call for the immediate 
application of the Gospel ! Even the church 
sometimes loses her keenness of edge. In Maine, 
statistics show that one-third of the churches are 
either closed or without a pastor. God is illus- 
trating throughout this great nation, forcefully, 
clearly, emphatically, the need of the church, and 
at the same time awakening the church by the des- 
perate character of the evil to the serious responsi- 
bility resting on her. If the church cannot cope 
with the liquor traffic in this land of Christian 
advantage and prestige, how can she cope with 
idolatry in lands covered with dense heathen dark- 
ness ? But a consecrated church does cope with 



TEMPERANCE — GENERAL PRINCIPLES. l8l 

idolatry and scatter it to the winds, planting the 
religion of Jesus, and unfurling His glorious 
banner. So can a consecrated church do with 
intemperance. To do this the church must: 

i st. Put away the evil from herself. 

The church, in heathen lands, which tries to 
carry worshipers of idols is powerless against the 
sin of idolatry. The church which receives drink- 
ers and brewers, etc., is in no condition to expect 
a victory. She must get the victory over herself. 
First. Is it to be wondered at that prohibition 
failed in so many States when the church has not 
come up to the standard of prohibition ? " Phy- 
sician, heal thyself." The church as a moral force 
cannot thrust the nation up to a prohibition 
standard when she will not take it herself. There 
is an eternal fitness of things. One of these is 
for the church to incorporate prohibition in her 
standards. This will soon produce a prohibition 
Christian church. Thus cleared of the evil, she 
will be like Gideon's " three hundred/' who 
shouted, " The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!" 
There can be no doubt as to the power of the 
church in this nation. If the church publicly 
professed prohibition, not by flashy resolutions, 
but by incorporating the doctrine in the stand- 
ards of the denominations, she could put that 
doctrine in the Constitution of any State in the 
Union. Her voice would be recognized as the 



182 THE WITNESSING CHURCH AND 

voice of God. Now, the state sees the confusion 
of Babel ; no denomination, except one or two 
very small ones, one of these the Covenanter, re- 
quiring the profession of prohibition as a Script- 
ure doctrine. In this matter the great Christian 
church has made a mistake. With her skirts 
defiled with the iniquitous traffic, harboring the 
drinker and brewer, she goes to the state and 
demands that the state shall guard its subjects 
from the destroyer. The church must wash 
her robes (from this iniquity) and make them 
white in the blood of the Lamb ; then she can 
wield the grace of Almighty God as a converting 
power. With a purified church, the liquor traffic 
must fall. It will not bear the light of the Son 
of Righteousness. " They overcame him by the 

BLOOD OF THE LAMB, AND THE WORD OF THEIR 

testimony/' The awful floods of intemperance 
can be stayed by these means to-day. " The 
Lord's hand is not shortened that it cannot save; 
nor His ear heavy that it cannot hear." 

2d. The church must preach, and more em- 
phatically, that liquor drinking is a sin against 
God, and a crime against man. 

The saloon keeper and manufacturer have been 
soundly berated, and justly. Not one good word 
can be said for them or their business. They are 
the outcasts of society, the vagabonds of the earth. 
They are robbers and liars and murderers to 



TEMPERANCE — GENERAL PRINCIPLES. 183 



a man. But the drinker sins also: (a) He pro- 
duces the demand. If no drinkers, the supply 
would cease. The growing supply indicates a 
growing demand, hence an increase in the num- 
ber of drinkers. The consumer is all but worthy 
of as severe condemnation as the saloon keeper 
and manufacturer, (b) The drinker sins against 
his home. He robs the home. He brings his 
family to poverty. They are not decently clothed 
or fed. He is brutal in his treatment, (c) He 
sins against the community. He comes on the 
community for support. Saturated with disease 
through rum, he and his family come to be a 
public charity, (d) He spreads moral pestilence. 
Immorality goes with rum. The back rooms to 
saloons are awful places, full of all abominations. 
He who goes in the front will be found in the 
rear, (e) He sins against God in his own soul. 
He is defacing God's image in drowning his soul 
in liquor. The awful nature of his sin is seen 
from God's withering rebuke and curse upon it, 
which soon cast out of the earth into hell. 

Liquor drinking a sin ? It is so great a sin 
that God will not permit such wicked people to 
live ! " God is a consuming fire/' and consumes 
the drinking sinner more quickly than any other. 
The church has not sufficiently emphasized the 
sin of drinking. Long strides, however, have 
been taken in this direction during the last gen- 



184 



THE WITNESSING CHURCH AND 



eration. The church is growing in the discharge 
of this duty. The drinker is no more worthy of 
compassion than the thief, the blasphemer, the 
Sabbath-breaker, the perjured person. When the 
great church of Christ deals with drinking as a 
sin against God, the business has received its 
death-blow. 

3d. There should be more positive temperance 
sentiment in the home, coupled with parental 
authority. 

Many boys go to ruin through parental care- 
lessness. The boys are out— they do not know 
where. Some parents have no more care of their 
children than animals of their young. They are 
left without moral training. There should be 
unmistakable authority in the home, which kind- 
ly but firmly rules. It is no kindness to children 
to allow them to have their way. The child 
who learns submission, as it grows into a 
knowledge of God, learns that He is the Father 
indeed, to whom obedience is to be rendered. 
But the child whose parents do not teach it to 
obey has received a wrong at the hands of its 
parents which leaves it a prey to the saloon, for 
it goes where it wishes. It has also been taught 
to disregard the authority of God. Such boys 
and girls are, in nearly all cases, lost to the 
church, and recruit the ranks of the profane and 
the vile. Parents are to blame. God commands 



TEMPERANCE GENERAL PRINCIPLES. 185 

to "train up a child," to conscientiously teach it 
its duty. But multitudes of parents turn this 
work over to others. The interests of temperance 
are closely linked with parental authority. The 
home must be toned up, and the boys will be 
saved. The devil gets but few boys and girls out 
of the homes where there is a positive Christian- 
ity and the fear and love of God. If all Christian 
parents in the United States would do their duty 
to their boys and girls in this matter of training, 
teaching them obedience which lea.ds to obedi- 
ence to God, a long step has been made toward 
the overthrow of the liquor traffic. 

4th. The church must become more spiritual 
and pious. 

The avenues leading out into the wilderness of 
sin are not beset by a thoroughly consecrated 
church as they should be. Thirty millions in 
this land of churches without any pretense of 
Christianity ! Astonishing ! The church needs 
more thorough consecration ! She needs a 
stronger piety ! She needs to pray more, and live 
nearer to God. The church must be toned up 
through and through. A half-hearted Christianity 
cannot meet the terrible conflicts of to-day. The 
Sabbath paper, Sabbath visiting, Sabbath pleasur- 
ing, theatre going, dancing, card playing, unsancti- 
fied lives, want of Bible study, etc., have well nigh 
defeated the work of the church in many places. 



l86 THE WITNESSING CHURCH AND 

God will not do many mighty temperance works, 
or give many mighty temperance victories, until 
the church lives closer to Him and becomes more 
spiritual. It is a fact which can be proved, tak- 
ing the church as a whole, that any member who 
can keep out of the clutches of the civil law is 
unmolested in the church. This shows corruption 
in the church. If she will not deal with evil 
within, how can she with evil without ? Israel 
had to put away their idols and sanctify them- 
selves before God gave them deliverance from 
their oppressors. Neither will God do so to-day, 
except the church rise to purer life and more 
consecrated devotion. There is nothing in all 
the history of the world to show that God will 
remove, from before a corrupt church, op- 
pressors which hinder and stop the way. Reforms 
come by the church being reformed first. Nor 
is it sufficient for the church to be reformed in 
the matter of temperance only. There must be 
reform all along the line. There has been gradual 
decline in spirituality in the denominations for 
two or three generations. Is it to be wondered 
at that God rebukes us and renders us powerless 
before the wickedness of to-day ? 

We have unbounded confidence in the ability 
of the church to cope with the liquor traffic, but 
she must publicly adopt prohibition in her stand- 
ards; she must take a higher position in piety, 



TEMPERANCE — GENERAL PRINCIPLES. 187 

spirituality, consecration. She cannot overcome 
the evil of intemperance in her present condition. 
These conditions fulfilled, the liquor traffic must 
perish before her withering rebuke, and before 
the trumpet blasts of the Gospel. " The Gospel 
is the power of God," and such a church will 
wield it. To hope for prohibition, the church con- 
tinuing in her present unsanctified state, unwill- 
ing to be pure and to be holy, " to put away her 
idols/' is to hope knowing that the conditions of 
promised victory have not been fulfilled. In all 
the temperance contests up to this time, the 
church has fought herself. Not a few of her 
members, no insignificant part of her forces, no 
small part of her army, have been found in the 
enemy's ranks. She was thus fighting herself. 
Until the church is on one side, until she is more 
spiritual and holy, until she consecrates herself 
more fully to the interests of Christ's kingdom, 
until she puts away worldliness and pride and 
vanity, there is but little if any hope of national 
prohibition. 

5th. In fine: Emancipation from this destroyer, 
as an individual or nation, can be had only in the 
regeneration of the individual or nation. 

This means that the individual must come to 
Christ. It means that the nation must do like- 
wise. There is no hope of the individual whose 
reformation does not take him to the church, put him 



l88 THE WITNESSING CHURCH, ETC. 



on his knees, and in humble supplication seek " the 
living God with his whole heart and mind/' The 
same is exactly true of the nation. As ex- 
perience demonstrates the fallacy of the drunk- 
ard's profession of reformation, unless he give 
evidence of a changed heart, so will experience 
show that it is useless to try to get a nation, un- 
regenerate in heart, infidel in life, openly wicked 
in transgression, to " sign the pledge and keep 
it." This nation must be brought to Christ. 
These sixty-five millions of people must bow at 
the feet of King Jesus. There must be public 
profession of His name, as the nation's 
Lord and as the nation's God. Then will the 
liquor traffic be destroyed. Oh, what bright 
prospects, just beyond, if this nation would come 
to Christ ! How He entreats and pleads with us 
as a people ! There is no hope of prohibition, 
final, successful, lasting, in these United States, 
until we as a nation bow humbly before our God, 
render Him national homage and worship, and 
bring forth the crown, meet only for the 
Son of God, and place it on the brow of 
Jesus ! 



CONSTITUTIONAL PROHIBITION, ETC. 189 



CHAPTER XVI. 

EFFORTS AT CONSTITUTIONAL PROHI- 
BITION IN A GODLESS 
GOVERNMENT. 

Work has been done on lines other than efforts 
at constitutional prohibition. Earnest temper- 
ance workers are abroad in the land. Scientific 
temperance instruction (this somewhat vision- 
ary) is given by the command of State authority 
in some States. But, after all, the great bulk of 
effort, in this last decade, has been to secure con- 
stitutional prohibition. Everybody had great 
hopes and expectations from this line of work. It 
did appear that the monster was about to be 
chained and cast into the pit. But hopes have 
been not a little disappointed. True, there has 
been some success. But when it is remembered 
that nine States in two years rejected constitu- 
tional prohibition, one of these striking prohibi- 
tion from its Constitution, these successes lose 
their importance, and especially since it is not 
yet demonstrated that such States will be able to 
retain their constitutional provision. In two 
years the following States rejected prohibition: 



I90 CONSTITUTIONAL PROHIBITION AND 



West Virginia, Michigan, Tennessee, Texas, 
Oregon, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Penn- 
sylvania, and Rhode Island. The last named 
went " back to its vomit and to its wallow in the 
mire." Most of these are great and important 
Commonwealths. That they should vote to 
retain the " destroyer," to pet and fatten the 
monster which is living on human flesh and blood, 
is an awful commentary on the standard of mo- 
rality in these States. It is only the figures that 
make us believe that one of the greatest and most 
cultivated and wealthiest of these States voted a 
whisky majority of one hundred and eighty-three 
thousand. Astonishing ! It will be more so to 
generations to come. The matter of constitu- 
tional prohibition of the liquor traffic has not yet 
been sufficiently tested, as a remedy, to draw a 
conclusion acceptable to all. For ourselves, we 
have but little hope of a thorough-going temper- 
ance reformation through Constitutions which 
reject God and the authority of His law. We do 
not hesitate to make this statement, viz.: Tem- 
perance REFORM WILL NEVER COME THROUGH THE 
UNS ANCTIF1ED, GODLESS BALLOT BOX. There will 

be ebbs and flows of sentiment. Victories may 
be gained in constitutional law. But there are 
mighty hindrances to final success on this line. 
The amendment proposed to the Constitution of 
Pennsylvania was not unlike, but like, all others 



A GODLESS GOVERNMENT. 



seeking prohibition. Reasons why this amend- 
ment failed will be suggested, believing that they 
apply to all. 

I. The defeat of the temperance amendment 
in Pennsylvania was not due to the use of 
money. 

Admitted, money was used. It was used 
lavishly. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were 
contributed by brewers, saloon keepers and politi- 
cal tricksters. They hired workers by the multi- 
tudes to fiercely contend against the amendment 
at the polls. All this is admitted. But while all 
this is true, it is equally true that their money 
had to be spent on men like themselves. It was 
spent on whisky bums, thugs, prize fighters, 
worthless characters, and men in sympathy with 
the evil, who would have voted that way. Any 
man who is not above price is worthless in a 
moral contest. The money consideration put 
them just where they belonged. They would be 
out of place elsewhere. If they had voted in the 
affirmative they would have voted next day to 
strike out the amendment. Such classes swarm 
in this government and receive unjustifiable con- 
sideration. 

II. Prohibition was defeated in Pennsylvania, 
because they have no standard of right. 

With the public declaration that " The majori- 
ty shall rule," and their will shall be executed by 



192 CONSTITUTIONAL PROHIBITION AND 

the authority of the Commonwealth of Pennsyl- 
vania, prohibition was put up. The majority 
said, " No ! We want whisky /" and they have 
whisky by the voice of the people. Laws pro- 
tecting the traffic are executed by the organized 
political body in which prohibitionist and saloon 
keeper stand side by side. Does it not appear 
that Right was delivered up to crucifixion when 
it was declared, in supreme law, that Wrong 
shall be enthroned as often as the majority see 
fit ? Everybody in Pennsylvania who voted, 
Covenanters who voted along with others, agreed 
that the will of the majority in the matter of the 
liquor traffic should be the supreme law. There 
is no known higher law than majorities. This 
is the theory of the government. To this, all who 
voted agreed. Since the majority voted in 
" whisky," and protect it by law, all who voted 
become sharers in the public wrong and disgrace, 
since the agreement is, " The majority shall rule." 
Every one who swears allegiance to the Constitu- 
tion of the United States, voting or holding office 
under it, has thus publicly attested that he will 
be governed by the will of the majority. The 
minority, in Pennsylvania should, after all, be 
very mild in their rebukes of the majority. They 
left God's law out of their Constitution, and de- 
clared that majorities should settle all questions. 
True, this is not the way God says to do. He 



A GODLESS GOVERNMENT. 



193 



gives no intimation that men may sit thus in 
judgment on His decrees. But in Pennsylvania 
they determined to do so anyway. No wonder 
the results make them stare one another in the 
face. They carry a fearful responsibility. How- 
ever, they have what they asked for, the rule of 
the majority, and it is whisky. The government, 
in the name of all citizens in allegiance, declares 
the result. Results rest, therefore, on all who 
voted, without reference to " side." Since the 
majority has declared for whisky and associated 
immoralities, the good Christian people of Penn- 
sylvania should seriously ponder two things : 1st. 

THE THEORY OF GOVERNMENT. 2d. THE RELATION 
IN WHICH THE MAJORITY PRINCIPLE FINDS THEM IN 
THE EXECUTION OF LAWS WHICH ESTABLISH AND 
PROTECT THE INIQUITOUS TRAFFIC. A thorough 

study of the first will make them national reform- 
ers ; of the second, Covenanters. 

This majority principle on which the govern- 
ment rests, and without reference to right or 
wrong, is one element of difficulty in all moral 
reforms. Surrender to immorality the privilege 
of "establishing iniquity by law " if it can mus- 
ter a majority, and you have surrendered the 
citadel. This has been done by the Constitution 
of the United States. 

At the same time, it must be remembered that 
there is each year a large influx of foreigners, of 



194 CONSTITUTIONAL PROHIBITION AND 



the worst elements of Eastern countries, who are 
not in sympathy with temperance. The nation 
is growing at the rate of three and one-fourth 
persons every minute, one hundred and ninety- 
four every hour, or about 1,700,000 in a year. A 
reliable authority gives these estimates of classes 
in our population : 

" Of the sixty-six millions of people probably 
ten will be found of foreign birth, about nine of 
the colored race, and forty-seven native-born 
whites ; but of the latter perhaps eight millions 
will be found children of foreign-born parents. 
With about twenty-seven millions of foreign birth 
or parentage, or colored, and thirty-nine million 
inhabitants essentially American and white, the 
American will ask himself whether continued and 
unrestricted immigration has any danger for this 
country. A considerable part of the children of 
foreign parentage become in every respect essen- 
tially Americans, but the body remaining, which 
retains foreign interests, sympathies, habits and 
associations, is large and increasing/' 

It is of no value in a stupendous struggle, as for 
prohibition, to push aside facts, or refuse to 
accord them their proper significance. The situ- 
ation warrants the statement that fully one-third 
of the population, with increasing proportion, is 
foreign or of foreign parentage. They are here 
with their foreign ideas, tastes and habits, have 



A GODLESS GOVERNMENT. 



195 



practically foreign communities even whole coun- 
ties and cities within cities. They can be put 
down as opposed to prohibition ; in most cases 
as bitterly opposed. Of the 1,700,000, which is 
about the yearly growth of the nation, the large 
majority can be counted in the opposition. In 
New York City, with 80 per cent, foreigners, what 
hope is there of prohibition ? And the situation 
is daily becoming worse ! Not only in New York, 
but in all the land ! These foreigners are being 

NATURALIZED BY MULTITUDES AND MULTITUDES ! 

They here and there already hold the balance of 
power and are in control ! They are courted and 
petted, dined and wined by politicians ! They are 
hurried into naturalization for their votes ! Once 
in, they have equal rights in overturning insti- 
tutions, with the native-born in maintaining 
them ! 

The far-reaching effects of the awful mistake 
made by the founders of our government are 
beginning to be seriously felt. They should have 
declared in the Constitution that " The law of 
God is the foundation of the laws and institutions 
of this land." Naturalization would then have 
sworn foreigners to this standard. This, instead 
of leaving them to tear down, uproot, destroy, 
would have brought them into harmony with 
American ideas and our Christian institutions. 
That would have been controlling the stream at 



I96 CONSTITUTIONAL PROHIBITION AND 

its source. But now the stream is fierce and 
mighty. 

Corrupt politics are also in the interests of the 
foreigners. They are hunted after by the politi- 
cal demagogue and his henchmen. Being such 
multitudes of them, and being clannish, they are 
important political factors. They are given 
their way as a political bribe, until at last they 
demand their way. They learn the character of 
the government very quickly. They soon learn 
that the morality of the government can be voted 
up or voted down, according to the ever-chang- 
ing moral complexion of the people. It appears 
that the citadel has been surrendered when these 
classes were given the elective franchise without 

BINDING THEM TO THE LAW OF GOD. The situation 

does not inspire confidence. 

III. The amendment was defeated in Pennsyl- 
vania because God was ruled out of the con- 
test BY THE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND. 

True, many prayers were put up to God, 
through Christ, during the campaign. But they 
were estopped by the theory of government. Mul- 
titudes called on God for " help " in this time of 
need. But the unuttered part of such prayers 
was, "If the majority says 1 Rum/ we have 
agreed to accept it, and execute laws to that 
end ! " Could God enter the contest on such 
conditions ? There was no covenant on the part 



A GODLESS GOVERNMENT. 



197 



of the Christian people that they would separate 
from the evil, and would refuse all allegiance to 
the government which would " establish iniquity 
by law." This because they feared God. No. 
Their political relations were to continue as be- 
fore. They wished God's help to deliver them 
from the liquor traffic, but they did not ask God 
to take any further part in the government. The 
government which claims that its authority 
comes from " the people," that God has no 
part or lot in the matter, is not in condition to 
look but to " the people " for help. They ca?i expect 
to wield no greater power than the source from whence 
they draw their authority . If God were recognized 
as this source, His infinite power could be laid 
under contribution. But He is rejected and the 
authority of His law denied— this by the supreme 
law of the land. The situation is as if an Israelite 
who had espoused the cause of Absalom, should, 
notwithstanding his treason, appeal to David, now 
exiled, dethroned, rejected, but the King never- 
theless, to come to their aid in putting down an 
immorality in Ephraim, but with the understand- 
ing that he was not to be enthroned, for " all 
Israel loved Absalom," as " we, the people," are 
loved in this land. 

Therefore, rejecting God, not only as Ruler, 
but also His power, for " He does not many 
mighty works " where there is " unbelief" as to 



I98 CONSTITUTIONAL PROHIBITION AND 

His authority in civil government, the good peo- 
ple of Pennsylvania went into a contest with the 
"rum devil." If ever they needed God in govern- 
ment, surely they did then. If ever they needed 
to wield the omnipotent arm, that was the time. 
But they went into the battle leaving God exiled 
without the camp. As a result, they were over- 
whelmingly defeated. " Without Me ye can do 
nothing." 

Sabbath reform is also beginning to feel that 
God should be divorced from it, being, it is al- 
leged, a stumbling-block. They urge the Sabbath 
on the ground of civil law, not on the authority of 
God's command. They are using efforts to keep 
the Divine side of the Sabbath in the back- 
ground. The Sabbath is urged as a day of needed 
rest, and on the authority of the people. The 
bill now before Congress is objected to by some 
because they believed it appealed to Divine law 
for its support. 

The editor of Pearl of Days, who is an officer 
in the American Sabbath Union, hastens to 
clear the bill of this misconception (?) and 
affirms its divorcement from Divine law. (What 
unfortunate conclusions a Constitution divorced 
from God drives men to !) " The opposition," 
says the editor, " to Senator Blair's Sabbath Rest 
bill, introduced into the Senate December 9, 
1889, and printed in the Pearl of Days last 



A GODLESS 



GOVERNMENT. 



199 



week, is based upon a false assumption. That 
bill does not assume, as it is claimed, that 
civil legislation upon this subject appeals to 
the Divine law for its support. Nothing of 

THIS KIND APPEARS IN THE BILL. On THE CON- 
TRARY, THE OPPOSITE IS DECLARED." 

It requires no prophetic inspiration to show the 
u end from the beginning " of efforts at " Sab- 
bath rest " without God; therefore, the complete 
defeat of the measure now pending before the 
Congress of the United States. " Without Me ye 
can do nothing." The Christian features of our 
government are being trampled beneath the heel 
of the infidel, the saloon keeper, the Sabbath 
breaker, the profane, the vile. The mighty god- 
less corporations are grinding the day of rest 
beneath their ponderous wheels. At the same 
time some good Christian people insist that God 
should be surrendered up from, the Christian 
hosts ! When will we learn, even as Christians, 
" Without Me ye can do nothing " ? 

We say it without fear of successful contradic- 
tion : Unless this nation enthrones God, the 
temperance cause is hopeless. This, the mighti- 
est and most dreadful evil known to modern civ- 
ilization, can be driven out only by the power of 
Almighty God. This can be secured only by the 
nation bowing at the feet of King Jesus. 

All efforts should be, first, to bring back the 



200 CONSTITUTIONAL PROHIBITION AND 



Lord, the King; to place in His hand the scepter; 
to bow before Him as the nation's "Lawgiver, 
Executive and Judge." The public conscience 
should be pierced and smitten with this great 
truth until it glows and melts into one mighty 
determination to " crown Him Lord of all ! " 

Nothing but the fear of God and His com- 
manding authority will make men honor His 
law. So long as He is ruled out of the contest, 
and by public declaration " known and read of 
all men," it is useless to expect any great mani- 
festation of His power in the overthrow of evil. 
The good people of Pennsylvania, therefore, 
digged the ditch into which they fell, as they were 
buried under a whisky majority of one hundred 
and eighty-three thousand. God was ruled out 
of the contest by the specifications of the Con- 
stitution of the United States. "The heathen 
are sunk down in the pit that they made : in the 
net which they hid is their own foot taken." 
(Ps. ix: 15.) 

IV. The amendment was rejected in Pennsyl- 
vania because the profane and the vile, those 
who reject God and who openly blaspheme 
His name, were permitted to sit in judgment 
on His law. 

This is a serious evil, as it is a dishonor to 
"Christ, the King of nations." The harm is 
not so distinctly seen, and its fruits are not 



A GODLESS GOVERNMENT. 



201 



so apparent when two great political parties 
divide these bad elements and balance them 
against each other as in a common election. 
But when some great moral issue is before the 
people; when suffering humanity loudly demands 
the application of righteous restraining law ; 
when such issue is settled at the ballot-box, 
these bad elements, the profane and the vile ; 
the prize fighters, thugs and bummers ; the 

BREWERS, SALOON KEEPERS and DRUNKARDS ; 
WHOREMONGERS, MURDERERS OF FATHERS AND MUR- 
DERERS OF MOTHERS ; ADULTERERS and THIEVES 

and robbers and outlaws ; these all flow 
together in determined and fierce opposition. 

If republicanism be Scriptural, and we believe 
it is, we are not convinced that Christ, who sits 
enthroned over properly constituted civil govern- 
ment, says to His enemies, "You have equal 
privileges with those who own my authority ; 
you shall have equal voice in choosing officers 
and making laws." The elective franchise is 
unrighteously extended to those who reject God, 
blaspheme His name, and make themselves ab- 
horred in His presence. It is a false theory of 
government which teaches that Christ is King, 
and at the same time teaches that His enemies 
should have the rights of suffrage. Christ com- 
mands His subjects to obey Him, puts them 
under disability until they do, instead of commis- 



202 CONSTITUTIONAL PROHIBITION AND 



sioning them to unseat Him if they can. The 
qualifications named by Christ for His officers, 
"Able men, such as fear God," suppose the 
same in those who make the choice. But 
in this government the very worst drunken 
sot is held up on his feet and led to the polls. 
What an insult this is to Him who is the nation's 
Ruler ! Does Christ say to a man who makes 
the very air blue with blasphemy, " You have 
as much right to your vote for wickedness, as 
my most devoted follower for righteousness?" 
The good people of this land have surrendered 
themselves to this class and have sworn that they 
will be obedient if these can muster a majority. 
That is a surrender which they had no right to 
make, inasmuch as it is surrendering what be- 
longs to Christ. But they made it. What bet- 
ter advantage could wickedness ask? It made 
a little spurt over in Pennsylvania, and put 
down the right by one hundred and eighty-three 
thousand majority ! These shameless, wicked, 
God-defying classes are politically (contrary to 
the commandment, "Be not unequally yoked 
with unbelievers,") yoked with Christian people, 
with all the possibilities in wickedness which 
these good people may be dragged into, and be 
made, by such union, responsible for. There is 
something wrong ! For the man on his knees 
and the man who blasphemes to be put side by 



A GODLESS GOVERNMENT. 



203 



side is nowhere intimated or hinted at in Script- 
ure ; this, either in church or state. Civil gov- 
ernment is Divine as well as the church, and is 
watched over with as jealous eye by the Lord 
God Almighty. 

In a government which owns God and His 
authority the blasphemer is out of place at the 
polls. In a government which rejects God and 
casts out His law the Christian is out of place 
at the polls. And any attempt to " yoke them 
together " will do two things : 1st. It will make 
the Christian forget God in politics. 2d. It will 
bring down the government, eventually, to the 
level of the worst. 

That these are not visionary opinions may be 
gathered from the fact that they are advocated, 
although, cautiously, by some of the prominent 
thinkers of the land. One of America's most noted 
ministers — we refer to Dr. Lyman Abbott — in a 
sermon preached to his people on Dec. 29, 1889, 
produced lines of thought which are parallel 
to those presented. Let the reader judge of his 
words : 

"Two conceptions of government," said Dr. 
Abbott, u have been in existence since the found- 
ation of our republic, struggling each with the 
other. One of these conceptions — the one which 
seems at present to have been nearly extin- 
guished — is the conception founded on the faith 



204 CONSTITUTIONAL PROHIBITION AND 

of the Puritan. According to it, government was 
a Divine institution, based not on the Divine 
right of kings, but on the Divine right of the 
people. So that the Puritans allowed only 

CHURCH MEMBERS TO TAKE PART IN POLITICAL AF- 
FAIRS, and the magistrate's office was as religious 
as that of the minister. 

"In opposition to this conception came that 
of the French Revolutionists and the school of 
Thomas Jefferson. Their view of government 
made it an entirely secular affair. Not a Divine 

INSTITUTION, BUT A NECESSARY EVIL. This view is 

the one which seems more and more to prevail. 

A RETURN TO THE OLD BELIEF, THAT GOVERNMENT 
IS RELIGIOUS IN ITSELF, ... IS NECESSARY TO 
COUNTERACT THE DANGEROUS TENDENCIES OF THE 

age. Not that the church should come into con- 
nection with the state, but that the functions 

OF THE STATE SHOULD BE EXERCISED RELIG- 
IOUSLY. " 

After speaking of political corruption, the 
spoil system, the buying and selling of votes, the 
power of evil men, he continued : 

"Consider the question whether, if the Puritans 
were wrong in giving the vote only to church 

MEMBERS, WE ARE NOT EQUALLY WRONG IN GIVING 

it to everybody. " — [New York Times, Dec. sot/i, 
This is one of the elements which contributed 



A GODLESS GOVERNMENT. 205 

to the defeat of the temperance amendment in 
Pennsylvania. As the classes referred to above 
have as much political power as the people of 
God, as they have full authority to vote in what 
they like, and out what they dislike ; as all, even 
the most important and vital questions, are to 
be settled by majorities, as the highest stand- 
ard of right, and as God is ruled out of the 
contest, it is not altogether foolish to say the 
outlook for reforms which seek recognition in 
constitutional law is not encouraging. There 
are tremendous difficulties to encounter. " Do 
men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles ? 
A good tree (Christian Constitution) cannot bring 
forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree (Infidel 
Constitution) bring forth good fruit." 

To the writer, therefore, the road to finally suc- 
cessful temperance reform and prohibition lies 
in the sanctification of government in these three 
things: 

First. The acknowledgment of Almighty 
God and the authority of His Son Jesus 
Christ over the nation. 

Second. The public recognition and avowal 
of God's law as the standard of right. 

Third. The disqualification of all who will 

NOT SWEAR ALLEGIANCE TO GOD AND HlS. LAW. 

The yearly consumption of malt liquors in the 
United States for each inhabitant was, for the 



2o6 CONSTITUTIONAL PROHIBITION, ETC. 

year 1840,1.36 gallons; for 1850,1.58 gallons; 
for i860, 3.22 gallons ; for 1870, 6.61 gallons ; for 
1880,9.51 gallons; for 1885, 11.51 gallons; for 
1888, 12.48 gallons. This means that there is 

TWELVE TIMES AS MUCH CONSUMED NOW, per Capi- 
ta, as fifty years ago! And during the last ten 
years, the decade of amendments, the consump- 
tion of malt liquors has increased per capita, 
from 9.51 gallons to 12.48 gallons. This enor- 
mous increase in the consumption of liquors is 
the more remarkable when it is remembered that, 
during this decade, two States have come under 
prohibition rule, which, with Maine, represent 
one-eighteenth of the territory of the United 
States (exclusive of Alaska); and also about one- 
eighteenth of the population of the country. In 
many other States, also, towns and townships 
are, under local option, having prohibition rule. 
If the people of these States and towns and town- 
ships do not sell any, as they say they do not, if 
they do not take any, as they claim, the consump- 
tion per capita in other States is materially in- 
creased. 

The above statistics show that the growth of 
the traffic has far outstripped the growth of the 
population. Are we to become a nation of 
drunkards? Think of 12.48 gallons for each man, 
woman and child ! One-third of a barrel to each 
of the sixty-five millions of people ! If ever a na- 



COVENANTERS AND VOTING FOR AMENDMENTS. 207 



tion owed a duty to its suffering, bleeding, dying 
subjects, this nation now owes immediate, thor- 
ough, uncompromising prohibition ! 

But prohibition will not come through a 
godless ballot box. No! The people must 
come up before the Lord, and covenant with Him 
to be His people, and He will covenant with them 
to be their God. This is the first step to finally 
successful and lasting prohibition. How touch- 
ingly, therefore, the suffering, the misery and 
death, because of the traffic, appeal to the great 
heart of the nation to enthrone God and crush 
the monster ! 



CHAPTER XVII. 

COVENANTERS AND VOTING FOR 
AMENDMENTS. 

The Covenanter Church, with others, is pierced 
and stricken with the awfulness of the liquor 
traffic, which pours its victims, as the thunders 
of Niagara, hissing and cursing into hell. It is 
not strange, therefore, that, in this the decade of 
amendments, the denomination should be severe- 
ly tried politically. Perhaps the last ten years 



208 



COVENANTERS AND 



have put its principles to the severest tests of any 
similar period. The debated question is, Is it 
consistent for Covenanters to vote for amendments ? 
Those who think that the " corrupt tree " (the 
godless Constitution) can be forced to yield 
" good fruit," and who think that, by such voting, 
you do not incorporate with the government, or, 
by implication, give allegiance to the Constitu- 
tion, say, " Yes." Those of the opposite opinion 
say, " No." 

It is believed that, up to the Synod of 1889, the 
deliverances on the question had been against 
voting. The various decisions could be produced, 
but this would be of no value. The decision of 
Synod of 1889 sets all doubt at rest by showing 
how the church stands now. Perhaps two years 
ago such decision would not have been given, at 
least by such remarkable majority. Nor is it be- 
lieved that it would be given on this, the first day 
of 1890, by such majority. Perhaps some of the 
good brethren in Pennsylvania, if they could be 
heard, after an adverse majority of one hundred 
and eighty-three thousand, would be more willing 
to believe that it is difficult to carry a temperance 
amendment without God, and on the strength of 
"we, the people." However, it requires a crisis 
to produce the real sentiments of some, even in 
Synod. The recent deliverance is believed to 
voice the judgment of the highest court in the 



VOTING FOR AMENDMENTS. 209 

Reformed Presbyterian Church. These are the 
words of it : 

" There are certain acts that do not involve sin- 
ful relations to an irreligious Constitution of 
government, and which are not acts of incorpo- 
ration with the government, which this church 
has always recognized the right of her members 
to perform. 

" The simple act of voting for amendments to 
State Constitutions belongs to the class of politi- 
cal acts which are not inconsistent with the prin- 
ciples of the Reformed Presbyterian Church or 
with her position of political dissent." 

One hundred and twenty members voted for 
this deliverance. Forty-four voted against it. 
Four members did not vote. Six were absent. 
Twenty-eight members entered their dissent 
against it with reasons therefor. 

It is believed that this decision is adverse to 
the principles of the Covenanter Church, and for 
the following, among other reasons : 

I. Synod has commissioned the members of 
the church to join with the citizens of this 

LAND IN ADMINISTERING THE GOVERNMENT. 

Synod says: " Go, vote for amendments I" The 
matter is not limited to temperance amendments. 
The principle is the same if there was this limita- 
tion. But it is a broad commission. It covers 
all amendments of whatever character. It should 



2IO 



COVENANTERS AND 



be remembered that nearly every legislature, in 
the various States, propose amendment or amend- 
ments to the Constitutions of such States. In 
Ohio, there were three amendments voted on at 
the elections in the fall of 1889. Thus through 
all the States. Synod says to the people of the 
church, " Voting for amendments to State Con- 
stitutions " is right. The field is thus opened. 
But such commission given by Synod is believed 
to be wrong, because : 

1 st. The only recognized authority in this land 
is " we, the people." Whatever is done is done 
in their name and by their authority. They have 
openly, and to all the nations, declared that they 
recognize no God and no higher law than their 
own. 

2d. If the Covenanter can join them in official 
action, in voting up or voting down, a Constitu- 
tion or part of a Constitution, and be guiltless 
before God, neither then is the nation guilty 
when it legislates and has legislated without 
God. 

3d. A constitutional amendment is but a 

STANDING ORDER TO THE OFFICERS UNDER COM- 
MAND OF "WE, THE PEOPLE." 

A Constitution is but a command. The trouble 
with the Constitution of the United States is not 
with itself, but with the people who issued it as a 
command on their own authority. The command — 



VOTING FOR AMENDMENTS. 



211 



Constitution — should have recognized the au- 
thority above the people, the authority of God. 
Covenanters testify against the people for doing 
this. The people meet together again to issue an- 
other standing order to officers. They are going 
to do it on their own authority as before. Tf it was 
wrong before, it is still wrong. The trouble is 
not with the order, but with the authority which 
issues it. Every one who joins that rebellious 
authority is guilty before God, however good the 
commands they issue may be in themselves. That 
same rebellious authority acts in adopting every 
Constitution and every constitutional amendment. 
In that authority which makes Constitutions and 
amendments is where broods and rests and roots 
the source of the rebellion against God. To enter 
that rebellious body and make Constitutions and amend- 
ments is believed to be a sin of much greater mag?titude 
than any other in connection with the government. It 
is joining the conspiracy against God and His Christ / 
That conspiracy puts out Constitutions and 
amendments, issuing them as commands to their 
officers in charge of national affairs. Shall the 
Covenanter have his name to commands which 
come from this conspiracy ? Shall he be one of 
" we, the people," who has officers under him to 
whom he can issue orders ? Every time a Con- 
stitution is made, that conspiracy acts. Every 
time a constitutional amendment is made, that 



212 



COVENANTERS AND 



conspiracy acts. The Constitutions and amendments 
are but the products of the conspiracy against God, 

4th. For the Covenanter to issue such stand- 
ing order to officers, commanding them to pro- 
ceed on certain lines, and do certain work, and 
knowing that the officer, to do so, must take the 
oath of allegiance to the Constitution, brings 
the Covenanter immediately responsible for 
swearing such oath. For illustration : When the 
Covenanter issues a standing order to the 

OFFICERS OF THE STATE TO RID THE STATE OF ALL 
INTOXICATING LIQUORS, AND PUNISH HENCEFORTH 
ALL WHO MANUFACTURE OR SELL THE SAME, and 

knowing, at the time he issues the order, that 
the officer must take the oath to the godless Con- 
stitution to do this thing, he commands him to 

TAKE THAT OATH. 

5th. Since the officer must take the oath to 
carry out the command of the Covenanter, in the 
matter of temperance, it involves the same prin- 
ciple, no more, no less, to vote for the officer. The 
authority which can issue a command can 
choose, as the command assumes he has chosen, 
the officer to carry it into execution. To issue a 

COMMAND TO OFFICERS WHO MUST TAKE THE OATH 

to execute it, and knowingly so, and then turn 
about, and with hands uplifted to Almighty God, 
swear that the officer does wrong to take the 
oath of allegiance, will not, it is believed, com- 



VOTING FOR AMENDMENTS. 



2I 3 



mend the consistency of the Covenanter Church. 
It may be an adroit shifting of responsibility ; of 
crowding others down to the deeper darkness as 
we rise to greater light ; of " lading men with bur- 
dens grievous to be borne, while we ourselves 
touch not the burdens with one of our fingers "; 
but will it be blessed of God ? 

II. To vote for amendments is doing what the 
standards of the Covenanter Church declare to be 
wrong. 

The Reformed Presbyterian Church accepts as 
right nine-tenths of the Constitution of the 
United States. Two or three things in the body 
of that instrument should be changed to accord 
with Divine law. But the great bulk of the Con- 
stitution is right. Covenanters come in conflict 
with it in the Enacting Declaration: " We, the 
people ... do ordain." Covenanters say that 
should read, "We, the people, in the name of 
Almighty God, and by the authority of His Son 
Jesus Christ .... do ordain." This is in ac- 
cord with God's command to nations. " In all 
thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct 
thy paths." " The Lord doth reign."" " King of 
kings, and Lord of lords." "All power is given 
unto Me in heaven and in earth." Covenanters 
reject the assumption of authority on the part of 
" we, the people." It is right that they should. 
It is wrong not to. As God's subjects, we are 



214 



COVENANTERS AND 



not at liberty to dethrone Him. We must re- 
ceive law at His hands. But at the institution of 
this government, we, the people, laid violent 
hands on the throne. God and His law were 
cast out. He was not acknowledged as the 
source of authority. The government, consid- 
ered in their Constitution, is, for the most part, all 
right ; but the assumption of authority is all 
wrong. It is this assumption of authority 
which the Covenanter Church witnesses against. 
It puts " we, the people," in rebellion against 
God and His law. Covenanters refuse to take 
part in such outrage against the Omnipotent 
Jehovah. They believe God will crush the rebel- 
lion against Him. They live soberly as citizens 
in this, God's country, and testify against the 
wrong. They affirm that God has conferred the 
elective franchise on them in properly constituted 
government only ; that they, therefore, have 
no franchise in a godless one, no more so than a 
Union man in the South during the reign of the 
Confederacy. 

While the Covenanter, therefore, heralds the 
principle to the world, viz., we, the people, have 

DETHRONED GOD, AND UNRIGHTEOUSLY USURP HIS 
PREROGATIVE, AND WE TESTIFY AGAINST YOU AND 

the Constitution which you have set up, an 
amendment is proposed. Shall the Covenanters 
vote ? They have witnessed, and are witnessing, 



VOTING FOR AMENDMENTS. 



215 



against, " we, the people," for ordaining a Con- 
stitution without God. Shall they, also, ordain 
without God and vote for the amendment ? If they 
do, they could vote for ten amendments. They 
could vote for twenty. And as an amend- 
ment is the same as an original article, to vote 
for amendments is the same as declaring that 
it is right to vote for all of the provisions of the Consti- 
tution of the United States, in so far as they con- 
tain nothing wrong in themselves. But this is 
inconsistent with the testimony of the church ; 
which says, We, the people, have right to ordain 
only in the name of God ! Shall we testify 
against the people of this land for ordaining a 
Constitution without God, and then proceed 
ourselves to ordain more to it without God? 
"Thou that preachest a man should not steal, 
dost thou steal ?" Is it not altogether inconsist- 
ent for the Covenanter to testify that it is wrong 
to set up kings without God, to ordain laws with- 
out His authority, and then proceed to do the 
same ? Voting for an amendment which has in 
itself no recognition of God ; putting it in a 
Constitution which has no God ; what becomes 
of the Covenanter's testimony ? 

Rather than help them put the government on 
a more secure basis in its rejection of God, let 
them wrestle with some uncompromising evil 
as the mighty liquor traffic until they look to 



2l6 



• COVENANTERS AND 



God in their extremity ! Honoring Him as the 
God of the nation, its Lawgiver and Judge, 
they can lay under contribution His Almighty 
power. " Without Me ye can do nothing." 

III. To vote for amendments puts Covenanters 
" into politics." 

These terms are used advisedly. It puts the 
Covenanter " into politics "! If it be right to 
vote for amendments, it is right and duty to 
advocate them before the people. And if the 
amendments are wrong in themselves, they 
should be spoken against, as well as voted 
against. Thus the Covenanter is " in politics," 
as a speaker and worker at the polls. What is 
his testimony worth ? We repeat, what is his 
testimony worth when he joins the common 
herd at the polls, and votes his ballot as they 
vote theirs. What is the church's testimony worth 
when it says to its members, "Go and vote! only 
vote the right ticket /" It reduces testimony to 
nothing, if it does not make it a positive injury. 

Furthermore, it is so manifestly inconsistent 
that the common judgment of Covenanters keeps 
them away from the polls, unless in some extra- 
ordinary occasion. There were three amend- 
ments to the Constitution of Ohio voted at the 
elections of 1889. How many Covenanters voted 
for or against ? How many ministers spoke for 
or against in their pulpits ? The sense of con- 



VOTING FOR AMENDMENTS. 



217 



sistency keeps Covenanters away from the polls. 
That Synod should say, " Go and vote !" is one 
of the strange things which sometimes happen, 
but which can hardly be accounted for. 

IV. It is believed that Synod's decision for 
" voting," although carried by such large major- 
ity, is out of joint with Covenanterism ; is out of 
harmony with the previous practice of the 
church ; falls squarely across former deliver- 
ances ; and is especially dangerous in these 
" perilous times." 

Space forbids the discussion of these points. 
It is apparent, however, that the Reformed Pres- 
byterian Church is moving on to a crisis. The 
Presbyterian Church is involved in one now. 
What the outcome will be no one can foretell. 
The tendencies of the times are not without 
their influence on the most earnest followers of 
Christ. The new political philosophy, which 
has carried the day in voting for amendments 
has two political bodies ; one with which the 
Covenant of 187 1 says, "We will not incorporate"; 
the other, the Covenant did not know anything 
about. Nor did the past generations know any- 
thing about it. Nor did they seek out, by such 
hair-splitting philosophy, the very closest step 
they could take to the sin of national rebellion 
against God. But the grand old church is now 
under different influence. The new leaven has been 



2l8 COVENANTERS AND VOTING FOR AMENDMENTS. 

working until some advocate that allegiance 
should be left to a conscientious and enlightened 
discretion. It seems to be only a question of 
time until the new philosophy shall have found a 
way to vote for officers, while it can prove to a 
demonstration that such is not inconsistent with 
the principles of the church. All Covenanters 
who voted, for any or all of the amendments to 
the Constitution of Ohio, had their names put 
down on exactly the same official books, by ex- 
actly the same clerks, in exactly the same way, 
on exactly the same day, as those who voted for 
officers of State. 

The qualifications necessary to vote for officers 
and for amendments are the same. In both 
cases, the voter must be American-born or a 
naturalized citizen. A foreign-born Covenanter 
could not vote. Nor could a home-born, if he 

WOULD DEAL HONESTLY AND TRULY WITH THE 

judges of elections. It is not necessary to 
argue the question whether the Judges would 
permit a man to vote who told them that he 
would not swear allegiance to the Constitution 
of the United States. Everybody knows they 
would not. It is stated by one who is a recog- 
nized authority, that the matter was tried, and 
the Judges refused. They could not do otherwise. 
It seems to be plain, therefore, that every Cov- 
enanter who votes for amendments has taken 



VOTING AND ORTHODOXY. 



219 



advantage, and not an honorable one, of the gov- 
ernment. The government requires of a foreign- 
born citizen an oath of allegiance, before they 
will allow him to vote. Every American-born 
citizen, voting, is regarded "as taking the oath 
by that act. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

VOTING AND ORTHODOXY.* 

Believing that the decision of Synod, while it is 
given by unmistakable majority, is contrary to 
the principles of the Covenanter Church, the fol- 
lowing considerations are presented : 

1 st. The decision marks a decline in orthodoxy. 
One of the old divines has said : " When a 
church is about to take a lower position, the con- 
flict does not spread itself over the whole body 
of truth, but some particular truth is made the 
point of attack. This overthrown, the denomina- 
tion appears in its new, but lower position." The 
philosophy of this is seen in that God requires 
the church to distinctly, openly and decidedly 
reject truth, if it refuses to hold it. It will not 
be urged by any that the denomination, through 



220 VOTING AND ORTHODOXY. 

this decision, takes a stand of more complete 
separation from the nation ; that it witnesses 
more decidedly against the nation ; that a louder 
call to the nation to repent is given by it. No. 
The step which the denomination has taken was 
not done hastily. The matter was under discus- 
sion for twenty years. The decline from ortho- 
doxy has been gradual. But at the last the final 
declaration of decline was taken by three-fourths 
majority of Synod. Let the deliverance of '89 
be read in connection with the deliverance of '86, 
which is as follows : 

" Whereas, This church has occupied a position 
of dissent from the government of the country 
on account of the infidel character of the na- 
tional Constitution ; and, 

" Whereas, This reason of dissent is not re- 
moved, therefore, 

"Resolved, 1. That voting on amendments to 
State Constitutions, or to the Constitution of the 
United States, or to revised forms of Constitu- 
tions, when conditioned on an expressed or im- 
plied approval of the national Constitution, as a 
compact of government, is inconsistent with our 
position of political dissent. 

"Resolved, 2. That Presbyteries be directed to 
take no notice of inconsistencies which may have 
occurred during the discussion of this question 
by Synod. 



VOTING AND ORTHODOXY. 



221 



" Resolved, 3. That Synod will hold Presbyteries 
hereafter strictly responsible for the maintenance 
of discipline on this point." (Min. '86, R. P. & 
C , p. 287.) 

If these resolutions mean anything, they mean 
that voting for amendments is inconsistent with 
the principles of the church ; but these inconsis- 
tencies shall be passed over thus far, since the 
matter was not until now settled by Synod. (Re- 
solution 2.) But hereafter Synod will hold the 
lower courts " strictly responsible for the main- 
tenance OF DISCIPLINE ON THIS POINT." To 

quote this deliverance on the side of " voting," is 
to impeach the honor of Synod, in that they com- 
manded censure against, and charged the Pres- 
byteries that they would be held responsible for, 
what Synod would thus be declaring to be right. 
The deliverance of '86 is against voting. But 
the decision of '89 is for voting by a majority of 
120 to 44. By such unmistakable majority, the 
church has declined from the attainments of the 
reformation, and the heritage of truth. 

2d. The decision renders the position of the church, 
on the government question, deeply metaphy- 
sical. 

For an antagonist to see the position and un- 
derstand the argument, while, at the same time, 
he disbelieves it, and rejects it, is honorable to all 
parties. But when a position is so metaphysical 



222 



VOTING AND ORTHODOXY. 



that men thoroughly versed in the Scriptures as 
well as in logic declare their inability to see the 
position, the matter takes on a different color. 
The Covenanter Church is practically in the lat- 
ter case to day. Thoroughly honest men, minis- 
ters and laymen, candidly confess they are not 
able to see the distinction which licenses voting 

FOR MEASURES and CENSURES VOTING FOR MEN. 

The literature of the United Presbyterian Church 
and of the General Synod, as well the open 
confession of these brethren in the Committee on 
Union, Pittsburgh, Jan. 29th, 1890, put special 
emphasis on this aspect of the situation. The 
denomination is therefore, unintentionally, sub- 
jected to some ridicule by the labyrinth of 
mysteries into which it has receded. It is not 
difficult to explain to a candidate for admis- 
sion why he should stay away from the polls. 
But to go to a young man and say, " My brother, 
we do not ask you to stay away from the polls, 
but there are certain kinds of ballots you must 
vote," presents to him a problem to which he can 
give no satisfactory solution. When the qualifi- 
cations are the same for all kinds of tickets, when 
the official books are the same, when everything 
goes to say you recognize the government 
equally as much in one ticket as the other, he can- 
not understand the difference. Fine-spun theo- 
ries have little effect on a man of strong common 



VOTING AND ORTHODOXY. 



223 



sense. It is believed that Synod has done a 
great wrong to the youngmen, and those seeking 
light, by this last decision. 

3d. If the deliverance be carried out, and the 
young men of the church be urged off to the 
polls to vote for amendments, as in Ohio, for or 
against, three in one year, it will produce disinte- 
gration. It is probable that, so far as voting for 
temperance amendments is concerned, the trial 
is about past ; for it appears that a " godless gov- 
ernment," " majority rule," and "no standard of 
right," with a constant influx of foreign popula- 
tion antagonistic to temperance, put that method 
of dealing with the traffic in the future. But 
other amendments are all the while before the 
people. To say to the young men, u Go to the 
polls, work and vote for or against these," and 
then to say to them, " We will deprive you of 
your privileges in the church, and censure you, 
if you vote for men to carry out your com- 
mands, called amendments," is at least put- 
ting them under temptation, with a strong prob- 
ability that they will be led astray. It is not 
the way to " come out from among them and be 
ye separate, saith the Lord." 

4th. If the church has begun to recede from 
the attainments of the reformation, if this deci- 
sion marks decline in orthodoxy, the various re- 
forms pushed by the Covenanter Church have reached 



224 



VOTING AND ORTHODOXY. 



their high-water mark, and will henceforth lose in- 
tone and power. 

5 th. The exaltation of Christ to the throne of this 
nation has thereby been postponed, with the prolo?tga- 
tion, also, of the reign of intemperance, Sabbath dese- 
cration, easy divorce, ?iational wickedness, etc. These 
forces will become more and more stubborn. 
With an ever-widening range, they will oppress 
the saints and the church of God. It requires 
no unusual discrimination and penetrating power 
to see that wickedness is growing. Righteous 
laws and customs are melting away as it pushes 
on with invincible determination. If ever the 
nation needed a Covenanter Church, which held 
aloft the standard of " Christ, the nation's 
King," this is the time ! But at the crisis the 
standard is lowered, and our people are told to 
go to the polls, and there without Christ, make law, 
with "we, the people." 



THE OUTLOOK. 



225 



CHAPTER XIX. 

THE OUTLOOK. 

I. The resources of the denomination were never 
greater than at the present hour. 

The church of Christ stands to-day with enor- 
mous resources at her command. These were 
never greater, (a) In wealth, (b) In learning, 
(c) In literature, (d) In the printing press, (e) 
In transportation, (f) In international communi- 
cation, (g) In business relations which throw 
all nations in contact each with the other, (h) 
The promise of the Spirit and the presence of 
Christ, (i) His command, " Go, preach the Gos- 
pel ! " (j) The receptive attitude of the heathen, 
(k) The Macedonian cry, " Come over and help 
us ! " These are but some of the elements of 
the resources at the church's command. The 
generations past had no such facilities. They 
were hindered on every hand. Now, the mount- 
ains and valleys, the crooked and roueh places 
have been taken out of the way. Truly the walls 
of Jericho have again, in this nineteenth century, 
fallen down flat. 

The Covenanter Church shares in these equip- 



226 



THE OUTLOOK. 



merits. It stands to-day with all the experience 
of the past, with better facilities than ever, with a 
membership double what it was a generation ago. 

II. The Covenanter Church never had grander 
opportunities. 

Its missions are prosperous. In any, in all of 
these, it is simply a question of how many work- 
ers can be sustained, with the promise amounting 
to all but a decree of a glorious harvest. In this 
land the public mind was never more ready to 
hear the distinctive principles of the denomina- 
tion. The worshiping of God in ways not ap- 
pointed in His Word has been pushed to such 
extreme that, through disgust with the operatic 
mockery called worship, the purity of worship as 
maintained by the Covenanters is looked at, not 
only with respectful attention, but admiration. 
The pool of politics has become so corrupt that 
sensible men are turning from it, and honor 
those who come out and testify, they will have 
neither part nor responsibility in the matter un- 
til the Lord God Almighty is acknowledged as 
the authority in the government. There was 
never a grander opportunity for the distinctive 
principles of the Covenanter Church than just 
now. The fields are white for the harvest. The 
very corruptions in church and state bring out 
in flattering prominence the old and honored 
principles of the reformation. 



THE OUTLOOK. 



227 



III. The outlook is one of fierce contendings. 

The whole history of God's people has been 
written in blood. It is probable it will be in the 
future. There is no promise to the contrary, at 
least until the millennium. Fire and blood and 
slaughter have disputed the way. Her bravest 
and most valiant men have fallen, but theirs is 
the death of victory, like Christ's. In the con- 
flicts of the future the Covenanters are to bear 
no insignificant part. They lead the advance 
guard, and receive the shock of battle. Out on 
the picket line, a target to enemies behind and 
bitter foes before, some desert the Covenanter 
standard. Thus the denomination is kept small. 
Some become discouraged, and wish the line to 
" fall back " ! But no ! Christ's standard never 
retreats. The " battle is on," and must be fought 
to the finish. Dismiss all flattery of immediate 
success. There is nothing to warrant the con- 
clusions which some draw, as to the near triumph 
of Covenanter principles. Victory is coming ; 
it is sure, but it is not nigh. The " drift " in the 
churches is in the wrong direction. Many de- 
nominations are rejecting, instead of receiving, 
truth. They are not becoming more pure, but 
more corrupt. The contest will be long. Indeed, 
the opinion is ventured that this beloved coun- 
try is to become like nations on the Continent. 
The chasm is ever narrowing. Foreign influences 



228 



THE OUTLOOK. 



ever becoming stronger. There is nothing to 
indicate immediate success on any line of reform. 
On the other hand, Sabbath laws are openly dis- 
regarded. " The wicked walk on every side, 
when the vilest men are exalted/' " The wicked 
shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that 
forget God." This nation has forgotten God, 
and will have the experiences here indicated. It 
bespeaks a time of awful sorrows and national 
desolation. The Covenanter Church will be 
severely tried because of the long time during 
which its testimony must be continued. But 
there can be no more doubt about the final vic- 
tory and triumph than of the rising of to-mor- 
row's sun. 

IV. There should be unbounded confidence in 
God, and in the goodness of the Covenanter 
cause. 

The denomination under discussion is the 
" forerunner," as is the Baptist of a better and 
brighter day. True, they said, " He hath a 
devil ! " and hard things may be said now. But 
the existence of the Covenanter Church is one of 
the brightest indications of the future. The 
truths held and practiced, in purity of worship, 
in rejecting a godless government, are teaching 
this great people, so that when the time does 
come, the preparation will have been complete. 
What is needed, therefore, is unbounded confi- 



THE OUTLOOK. 



229 



dence in God, and the goodness of the Covenant- 
er cause. It is an honorable position to be the 
" forerunner " of a better day. Such is the Cov- 
enanter Church. The "goodness of the Coven- 
anter cause " is as " the truth as it is in Jesus." 
This should rouse all to a high measure of en- 
thusiasm. 

V. There should be aggressive work in setting 
forth the principles of the church. 

No denomination can long survive opposing 
forces if it neglects its own distinctive position. 
To attempt to hold truth for those in the 
denomination only is to invite disintegration. 
To survive there must be active, aggressive work. 
No distinctive principle should be held but 
truth ; but if the truth, it should be pushed 
energetically. The Covenanter Church holds 
and testifies that the Scriptures teach that a god- 
less government is not to be supported by an 
oath. If that be true, here is the grandest op- 
portunity to honor Christ by teaching such to 
the citizens of this land. True national reform 
will go to those who are sinners, in this matter, 
with this message. It is not only to the glory of 
Christ that they should, but it gives men a chance 
to repent by hearing the truth. To hide that 
truth "under a bushel" is to bring on the 
denomination the disapprobation of God. If the 
Covenanter Church will live in the conflict it 



23° 



THE OUTLOOK. 



must be rid of the notion that its distinctive 
principles are for use within the denomination 
only. To think that these will hinder true 
national reform, or postpone the day of its com- 
ing, is to suppose that God can hinder Himself. 
Two things should be remembered : 

ist. The citizens of this nation need to know 
the sin of swearing to a godless Constitution. 
2d. God commissions the Covenanter Church to 
tell them so. The life of the denomination de- 
pends on doing this duty. There must be 
aggressive work on denominational lines. Ear- 
nest, active, conscientious, aggressive work in 
declaring the truths which God has committed 
to the church, is necessary to those within, to 
make them zealous ; necessary to those with- 
out, to give them the opportunity to repent. 

" They overcame by the blood of the Lamb, 

and BY THE WORD OF THEIR TESTIMONY. " This 

last needs to be emphasized, " By the word of 
their testimony ! " Yes ! Testify ! Testify ! 
Testify ! to the sin of swearing allegiance to 
a government which usurps the prerogatives of 
the Son of God ! and God promises the victory. 

Therefore, let the Reformed Presbyterian 
Church be aggressive, and fulfill the mission 
and commission given by God. This the church 
does in congregational, presbyterial, synodical 
work. The resolutions, and calls to repentance, 



THE OUTLOOK. 



231 



as well as the specific statement of the sin of 
incorporating with the government, are set forth 
in no unmistakable terms. Carry it, also, to the 
seven millions of voters, for they are sinning 
against God. It will hasten the glad day of 
Christ's crowning. 

VI. The future of the Covenanter Church de- 
pends on fidelity to the attainments of the 
reformation. 

It is believed that the standard was lowered 
by last Synod when the members were told to go 
to the polls with the declaration that there were 
tickets which they could vote. But it is sin- 
cerely hoped that the lost position will be re- 
gained. There can be but little doubt that the 
" new order " will fall a dead letter in all cases, 
excepting those of great public interest. This, 
of itself, is sufficient to condemn the " order." 
Thus God, notwithstanding Synod's resolution, 
will keep the standard exalted, " For Christ's 
crown and covenant ! " To be victorious, the 
church must be pure, and free from all contam- 
ination. The truth must be zealously guarded. 
The attainments for which the martyrs died 
have been builded in the walls of Zion, cemented 
in martyrs' blood. Those truths can never be 
lost sight of by the church. They made Scotland 
free ! They will be the liberation of the world ! 
No denomination has, therefore, such prospects, 



232 



THE OUTLOOK. 



and looks forth to such honor as the Coven- 
anter. It has truth which the world needs. 

The outlook ? As certainly as the Covenants 
rest upon the truth as it is in Jesus, so shall that 
truth triumph, for the mouth of the Lord hath 
spoken it. More, we are nearer its triumph than 
any of the past generations. We are encouraged 
as they were not. The future is full of promise. 
And when that day does come, and the family of 
God becomes one in doctrine, worship, discipline 
and government, no denomination will be found 
to have more wisely and Scripturally directed its 
course ; to have more faithfully stood by the 
truth as it in Jesus ; to have thrown a more 
brilliant light out over the waters, to have more 
undoubtedly conserved the interests of a lost 
world ; and to have been instrumental in rescu- 
ing a greater number, according to the member- 
ship, than the Covenanter Church. It gives us 
pleasure to say this, for we believe it. We yield 
to none in our recognition of the effectual work, 
the consecrated, self-sacrificing devotion of sister 
denominations. The unnumbered multitudes 
which, through their instrumentality, do " wash 
their robes and make them white in the blood of 
the Lamb/' are the joy of earth and the song of 
heaven. May their past efficiency be but the 
beginning of a still more glorious future ! All 
honor to these "laborers together with God." 



THE OUTLOOK. 



233 



But the same, also, to the church of our fathers, 
and which conserves the covenanted cause ! Give 
it the honor due for its valiant work ! When 
others retreated, it stood as the rock in the storm 
of persecution and death ! It stood for the gen- 
erations to come, and bought their liberty and 
emancipation from Rome by shedding its blood ! 
It lives and stands on the same platform to-day. 
It enters the possibilities of the future. With the 
ever deepening desire to win souls and to reach 
the masses with the Gospel of the Son of God, 
properly directed and cemented within and with- 
out with the truth, the whole truth, as it is in Jesus; 
with new and gushing methods held strictly under 
control ; with a little more of the fear of God, and 
a little less desire to please men; above all, with the 
earnest, importunate prayer for the baptism anew 
of the Holy Ghost, and the Reformed Presby- 
terian Church will astonish itself in the work 
which, through the Spirit, it shall accomplish for 
Christ. 

" Bear aloft, then, Zion's standard, 

Crimsoned o'er with martyrs' blood; 
It hath waved through lapse of ages, 
Undestroyed by fire or flood. 

On the field of bloody conflict 

It hath waved amid the strife ; 
And our fathers, to preserve it, 

Periled fortune, home and life." 



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